Home and car insurance costs pushed up by cold winter claims Go compare with our comparison table

Home and car insurance costs pushed up by cold winter claims

15 March 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Consumers could find that their home and car insurance premiums rise, following insurers paying out £650million in claims due to the worst weather in three decades this winter.

Insurance companies received 335,000 claims from customers who had suffered damage to their homes, vehicles, and businesses during the coldest winter for 30 years, the Association of British Insurers has revealed.

Drivers made 268,400 car insurance claims, amounting to £395million, many of which were for accidental damage resulting from slippery roads.

Homeowners and businesses made 66,000 claims for a collective £255million to repair weather damage such as roofs affected by the uncustomary snow.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the ABI, said "From dealing with snow damaged roofs, burst pipes, to repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by treacherous driving conditions, insurers helped their customers get through the snow and the freezing temperatures."

However, while this has helped consumers in their time of need, the disproportionate number of car and home insurance claims made this winter will have an impact on customers' insurance premiums, MoneyExtra has warned.

To try and minimise the number of claims made and thus reduce the chance of their premiums rising, or losing a no claims bonus, MoneyExtra urges policyholders to think twice before making a claim.

Drivers should avoid making a claim for every little dent, the financial information website suggests, because over the long term these small claims can affect premiums.

Consumers can also review areas where they could save money on premiums, such as increasing the excess, and switching to a less powerful car.

While the weather is one of those things we can't control, your car insurance policy is something you can," said Peter Gerrard, head of insurance at Moneyextra.com.

"It will seem to many that an inevitable consequence of the bad wintry weather that a rise in insurance premiums will follow. Car owners should remember that there are ways to save on their car insurance policy."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd

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