insurance ireland facing huge costs

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Insurance companies face huge costs following the extreme weather in Ireland 

Insurance firms are set to pay out a massive €5.5 million to homeowners and commercial property owners in County Wexford, following damage sustained from burst pipes during the January big freeze.

This is on top of nearly €750,000 already claimed in the county for damage suffered from flooding during November. According to figures published by the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) in Ireland nationally, both of these extreme weather events have resulted in property insurance claims totaling €541 million. This is more than the €358 million total of combined costs for all previous weather events during the past 10 years.  

The wintry weather and freezing conditions during January resulted in many homes and businesses suffering burst pipes throughout County Wexford, which lead to flood damage in many cases.

The flooding left Wexford County Council's public water supply extremely short with rationing introduced for a short period. The number of ensuing household insurance claims made in the County during the month was 514 with commercial claims standing at 105.

The overall pay out for household damage could reach €4,032,000 while the cost of commercial property damage stands at €1,482,000, making for a combined total for the month of €5,514,000.

Although November's flooding did not affect County Wexford as badly as other areas in the West of Ireland, household and commercial claims have still added up to €754,000. During the period 9 November to 30 November, the number of claims for household flooding stood at 90, with 26 claims for flooding damage to commercial properties.

The household total is €444,000, according to the Irish Insurance Federation while the commercial total is €10,000. Mike Kemp, Chief Executive of the IIF, described the insured cost of the two recent extreme weather events as being 'very stark' and although there may be implications for the Irish insurance sector, he believes in the resilience of insurance companies to meet the needs of their customers during a ‘very traumatic time for many people’.

However, Mr. Kemp thinks these costs may have insurance implications for the future in relation to weather-related claims saying, “With the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, questions inevitably arise as to the future cost and even insurability of some risks, particularly flood risk in some parts of the country”.

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