Lack of buildings insurance spells disaster for storm victims

12 March 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
As the latest storms continue to cause destruction over the UK, new research from Sainsbury’s Home Insurance shows that thousands of affected homes may be without adequate buildings insurance.

According to Sainsbury’s Insurance there are as many as 1.78 million home owners currently without buildings insurance in the UK.

A further 656,000 people are unsure whether they have the all important insurance or not. The research also showed that when questioned, 39 per cent of homeowners without buildings insurance felt it was unnecessary and only 2 per cent failed to be covered because of cost.

These statistics come at a time when homes across the UK have suffered as a result of the recent natural disasters in the form of gale force storms and an earthquake. Without buildings insurance, these homeowners will not receive any financial assistance when trying to rebuild and repair damaged homes.

"Thousands of homes could be at risk from storms this week so it’s alarming to see so many without buildings insurance," said Neil Laird, Home Insurance Manager at Sainsbury’s.

"The growing number of weather-related instances really highlights the importance of having adequate cover in this area and unlimited buildings cover ensures peace of mind that you won't be left underinsured should the unthinkable happen."

According to the Met Office, gales are one of the most common causes of damage and disruption in the UK. Meanwhile,, claim that the recent series of natural disasters, following on from last summer’s floods are likely to cause home insurance premiums to increase for those wise enough to already have a policy. Debra Williams, managing director of, comments: "Millions of home owners could find themselves hit by the double whammy of storm damage followed by increased premiums, as insurers look to claw back losses.

"Already this year, insurers have shouldered the costs of the Market Rasen earthquake which itself caused extensive damage to property, estimated to be well in excess of £30 million pounds.

"Added to the fallout from last year’s summer storms and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather in the UK, the likelihood is that hard-hit insurers may be swifter to raise premiums than they have in the past." also predicts a rise in insurance premiums, claiming they are inevitable. According to, there are currently 2.3 million properties in flood risk areas in the UK, with assets valued at over £237 billion and potentially, insurance claims could be colossal. Consequently, claim that insurance premiums for those currently claiming could rise by as much as 40 per cent.

It is not just home insurance that proves essential in order to weather the latest storms, cars are also at risk. According to, now is the time to check your car is comprehensively insured.

"There are almost one million vehicles in the South West with third party cover only, which means that any damage caused by falling trees and debris as a result of the strong winds will not be covered," warned Ashton Berkhauer, insurance expert at

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