Property insurance claims rocket by 58%

Domestic property insurance claims rocketed by pounds 218m in the first three months of this year against the same period in 1995, a rise of 58 per cent, according to figures from the Association of British Insurers yesterday.

The increase in the value of claims raises fears of rising premiums for millions of policyholders. A number of large insurers have said that the long-running price war for home and contents cover may be drawing to a close.

Sandy Dunn, managing director at Touchline Insurance, part of GAN, one of Europe's largest insurance groups, said: "The rise we are seeing demonstrates that the market is beginning to adjust to a more realistic level.

"It is anticipated that this trend will apply to buildings insurance in the near future, with contents insurance following later in the year."

The ABI's survey showed that although theft claims dropped slightly over the first three months of this year, weather damage increased by 155 per cent, to pounds 308m. The value of subsidence claims doubled in the first three months of 1996, costing insurance companies pounds 68m.

Commercial property insurance also saw a substantial increase. Fire claims cost pounds 118m, a rise of 13 per cent over the first three months of 1995. Business interruption claims, many of which were made in the wake of the new year cold snap, rose 14 per cent, to pounds 48m.

The overall figure for weather damage in relation to commercial property insurance rose by 208 per cent, up to pounds 111m.

Mark Boleat, director general at the ABI, the industry's trade body, said: "The main factor in these disappointing results is the freezing conditions in the early days of 1996, with the effect of last year's hot summer still coming through in the form of subsidence claims.

"The overall rise in the cost of commercial property claims is disturbing, particularly as three of the four main categories of business have shown marked increases, with the new year having a marked impact."

The ABI's figures also showed domestic theft claims, at pounds 160m, down 3 per cent on the same period last year. Although the average cost of a claim at pounds 1,010, rose by 5 per cent on the first three months of 1995, the number dropped 9 per cent to 158,000. Commercial property claims were down by 25 per cent, to pounds 40m.

Mr Boleat added: "The only encouraging news is the reduction in theft claims, but even here, ttheft of computers and associated equipment continues to rise and too many of the traditional targets are still receiving the attention of thieves."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing