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Paul Faith/PA Archive

Insurers face €224m bill for winter weather claims

The Irish Insurance Federation says its members have paid out €765m for weather damage in just 14 months.

IRISH INSURANCE COMPANIES have paid out €224m to home and business owners as a result of the cold snap that brought the country to a halt just before Christmas.

The Irish Insurance Federation said today said its members had dealt with almost 30,000 claims caused by burst pipes alone, with household claims accounting for other three quarters of the payments made.

Cork was the county affected worst by the cold snap, accounting for €32.4m of the payouts, ahead of Galway (€24.7m) and Dublin (€20.2m). Leitrim cost the the least in terms of payments processed, accounting for €2.2m.

With the December cold snap marking the third bout of significant weather problems in 14 months, the IIF said the total sum of payments paid in respect of cold or wet weather in that time had now reached €765m.

IIF chief executive Mike Kemp said the scale of the damage caused in the most recent cold spell “should not be underestimated, and the subsequent quick response from insurers assisted many homeowners and businesses in getting back on their feet as fast as possible.”

By way of cost comparison, Kemp said the cost for severe weather events before the ten years before November 2009 had reached a grand total of €358m – less than half of the cost of the three most recent weather crises beginning with the flooding of winter 2009.

The IIF advised people to review their home and business situations in advance of next winter by ensuring that attic water storage tanks were properly lagged and that exposed piping was insulated.