Crawford & Company® has welcomed a UK insurance industry campaign highlighting the effects of climate change on property, in particular from windstorm damage.
A report published earlier this week by the Association of British Insurers shows temperature increases of just a small number of degrees are likely to lead to insurance losses for high winds which could be 11%, 23% or even 25% higher nationwide. These temperature changes fall within the long-term projections of what climate change experts expect to happen, the ABI report said.
Having deployed thousands of adjusters following natural catastrophes in the UK and worldwide, Crawford has played a leading role in the insurance industry’s physical response to climate change and Clive Nicholls, CEO UK & Ireland, says this report is a timely reminder of the growing threat faced by property owners.
“After a relatively benign winter in 2016-17 it is important that the insurance industry
reminds policymakers of the realities facing society,” said Nicholls “The insurance sector should not forget the need to continually make adequate resources available. If windstorm losses do increase at the rates predicted by this report, adjusters like Crawford will have to be in a position to respond to even more wide area damage at very short notice.
“Over the years, Crawford has invested in all types of innovation through the use of technology, new ways of working including real-time self-service for customers experiencing a claim and by building a flexible workforce of adjusters, surveyors and contractors.”
Up to 65% increases in claims
The ABI figures make for a sobering read. The increased losses are not spread evenly across the country but are likely to be concentrated in Northern Ireland, northern England and the Midlands, with Southern England potentially seeing decreasing losses from storms.
This is based on Met Office analysis which shows that even small increases in temperature are likely to shift stronger winds further north.
|Change in average annual loss (AAL) for:
The whole UK
|North East England||+4%||+16%||+17%|
|North West England||+13%||+26%||+29%|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||+28%||+45%||+49%|
|East of England||-6%||+3%||+4%|
|South West England||-10%||-1%||+1%|
|South East England||-20%||-12%||-11%|
The worst wind storm to hit the UK in recent years is the Burns Day storm (also known as Daria) on January 25 1990 in which 47 people died. The insurance industry paid out £2.1 billion in claims, worth over £4 billion today, with damage worth millions more done to national infrastructure and uninsured properties.
When looked at over the long term, floods and windstorms tend to result in similar levels of claims costs for the insurance industry, but while floods create lower numbers of expensive claims, wind damage affects far higher numbers of people less severely.