Freeze driving up insurance claims

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says the big freeze has led to soaring numbers of car insurance and home insurance claims.

Although it did not put a figure on the cost to the industry from weather-related claims so far this season, the group pointed out that insurers had paid out nearly £650 million following the chill last winter.

A significant number of the claims related to damage caused to households from burst pipes. Others included people crashing into kerbs, walls and lampposts and driving into ditches.

Three of the claims filed with one insurer involved collisions with police cars, while three other people crashed into snow ploughs.

A seven-fold increase in burst pipe claims has been reported by Lloyds TSB Insurance which said the freezing weather had led to a "dramatic increase" in home insurance claims.

AA Insurance said it had seen a 23% rise in car insurance claims as a result of the freeze, with damage most likely to have been caused by collisions in moving traffic, followed by accidents with unattended parked cars.

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