Claims associated with the ‘Beast from the East’ blamed for the rise in premiums – which have increased at three times the inflation rate.
The cost of home insurance has increased by 7.6% in the year up to April 2018, according to new data from Consumer Intelligence. The increase – more than triple the inflation rate – has been mostly blamed on the severe weather in the early part of the year, particularly the ‘Beast from the East’ weather phenomenon and Storm Emma.
Below we take a look at the areas that have been most affected by the increase in premiums, and explain what you can do to reduce the cost of your home insurance – especially during extreme weather conditions.
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How much has the cost of home insurance increased?
The adverse winter weather at the beginning of 2018 has led to UK homeowners being hit with higher home insurance premiums, with the average cost of a home insurance policy increasing by £133 over the past 12 months – representing a 7.6% increase.
In comparison, the inflation rate in the year up to April 2018 was just 2.4% – meaning home insurance costs have increased at more than three times the rate of inflation.
The so-called ‘Beast from the East’, which brought huge amounts of snowfall and freezing weather to the UK on three separate occasions this year, led to a significant increase in home insurance claims for snow and water damage. The cost of these claims, along with the strong winds during Storm Emma, have resulted in a steep increase in premiums.
Homeowners in London have seen the largest increase, with premiums rising by £172 on average – an increase of 11.9% in the past year. Those in the South West had the lowest rise in home insurance premiums of £117 (4.9% increase).
The table below shows data from the Consumer Intelligence report on how home insurance premiums have increased throughout the UK:
|REGION||CHANGE IN YEAR TO APRIL||AVERAGE PREMIUM (FIVE CHEAPEST)|
|Yorkshire & The Humber||+7.0%||£131|
Types of home most affected by adverse weather
According to the data, homes built before 1910 were the most likely to be affected by the Beast from the East, and have seen an average premium increased of 10.1%.
Due to their age and increased wear and tear, these houses were more likely to be damaged, and older properties are often more expensive to repair.
Conversely, newer houses built after 2000 also saw a steep increase with premiums up by 9.6%.
How to protect your home from severe weather
While it’s not always possible to avoid damage from a storm of adverse weather conditions, there are some steps you can take to protect your home and keep your home insurance premiums down as much as possible.
1) Protect your pipes from freezing
During prolonged cold snaps it’s important to keep your central heating set to a minimum of 15°C. This will help to avoid your pipes freezing and bursting, which can lead to expensive claims.
2) Get your boiler serviced regularly
Your boiler should be serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. You should also have your central heating and gas fire checked over to make sure they are in proper working order.
3) Make sure your home is properly insultated
Check that your loft is insulated and has adequate ventilation.
4) Check your roof, gutters and drains
It’s a good idea to make sure your roof is in good condition before winter, and have any broken or missing tiles repaired/replaced as soon as possible. Clear your gutters and drain pipes of any leaves or debris that could cause a blockage.
5) Secure external buildings and furniture
Keep your gates, outbuilding doors and any loose furniture (garden chairs, tables, parasols etc.) outside of your home securely fastened.
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