As the United Kingdom deals with the impact of yet more flooding, experts are predicting the costs of damage to residential and commercial properties caused by October’s storm Babet will be more than the combined insurance industry’s bill for three of the biggest storms of 2022.

Storm Babet delivered what the Met Office called “exceptional rainfall”, with some areas of eastern Scotland seeing 150mm to 200mm falling. In November, storm Ciarán affected the Channel Islands with losses expected to be “notable”.

While experts have yet to tally the cost of storm Gerrit, which arrived at the end of December leaving hundreds of homes without power, Mohammad Khan, General Insurance Leader at PwC UK, has highlighted the impact of Babet.

He said:” Given the extent of flooding we’ve observed and the subsequent damage of residential and commercial properties, we project the insurance losses from Storm Babet to range between £450 and £650 million. “

At the start of 2022, the Association of British Insurers calculated the damage caused by storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin, which hit much of the UK during February, would lead to insurers paying out nearly £500m in dealing with 177,000 insurance claims.

The warnings of rising insurance costs in the UK come against a backdrop of significant global insured losses from severe thunderstorms hitting a new all-time high of £47 billion (US$60 billion) in 2023, with overall natural catastrophe claims surpassing  £79 billion ($100 billion), according to a new report from Swiss Re Institute.

 Losses from severe thunderstorms have steadily increased by 7% annually in the last 30 years, said Swiss Re.

Mark Dutton, director at W Denis, said: “Conventional insurance is not always suitable to deal with climate issues as there has to be physical loss or damage caused by a specified peril, e.g. fire or flood. However, extreme weather conditions can cause non-damage interruption to businesses“.

Non-conventional insurance is available from W Denis to guard against extreme conditions of weather, linked to pre-determined temperatures (hot or cold) or excessive rainfall or drought. Mark Dutton added: “Such parametric insurance – a non-traditional insurance product that offers pre-specified pay-outs based upon a trigger event – should be on the agenda for risk managers to routinely review as part of their exposure management.”

W Denis are one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the UK and arrange competitive insurance solutions.  To discuss this further with a broker at W Denis, please make arrangements with Daniel Moss at or on 0044 (0)113 2439812

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Mark Dutton

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