| 5°C Belfast

Esure reveals £8m hit from freak weather

The Siberian chill and Storm Emma weighed on the group.


Freak weather in March hit insurers hard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Freak weather in March hit insurers hard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Freak weather in March hit insurers hard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Esure has laid bare the cost of the Beast from the East, with the insurer taking an £8 million hit linked to the freak weather in March.

In a first-quarter trading update, the group said it saw claims costs in its home division rocket £6 million ahead of forecasts to £8 million.

This, Esure said, was linked to the Siberian chill that descended on Britain, as well as Storm Emma.

“During the first quarter, the UK suffered a prolonged freeze event and significant disruption from the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, and this resulted in £8 million of claims costs in Home, which is £6 million ahead of expectations,” said boss Darren Ogden.

“I would like to thank colleagues for their dedication in helping our customers during this period in what were testing times.”

Nevertheless, Esure said it remains on track to achieve an operating performance similar to 2017 and is “well placed” to deliver profitable growth in 2018, after adjusting for exceptional weather costs.

It comes after rival Direct Line on Wednesday revealed a £50 million weather hit and warned that almost its entire annual weather claims budget had been used in the first three months of the year.

In a trading update covering the three months to March 31, Esure said its gross written premiums rose 18% to £221.2 million.

It saw a 21% increase in motor premiums to £201.4 million, although home premiums fell 6.2% to £19.8 million.

Total in-force policies for the quarter grew 9.2% to 2.4 million, motor policies were up 16.5% while home policies fell 13% to 470,000.