The AA reported five fold increase in car insurance claims over the first five days of this year compared to the same period three years ago.
There were also significantly more claims than the same time last year. This January 1-5 saw 28% more car insurance claims than the same period in 2011, when the country was blanketed in snow.
Claims in the first five days of January for the past four years went like this:
1-5 January 2009 – 199 claims
1-5 January 2010 – 418 claims
1-5 January 2011 – 711 claims
1-5 January 2012 – 991 claims
The main driving factor in the rise in claims was the weather, with the wild storms of last week provoking a tsunami of claims for insurers. In Scotland, 65% of all claims in the first five days of January were weather related.
Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said that the most common cause of damage was from dislodged roof tiles and trees or tree branches.
“Other claims are from items not fixed to the ground – including eight cars damaged by trampolines, dozens of wheelie bins, garden sheds, TV aerials, a church hall roof and even a dinghy.
“Several customers also had their car door whipped out of their hand by a gust of wind, breaking hinge mechanisms, smashing glass or damaging a vehicle parked in the next space,” he says.
“Other weather-related claims over the first stormy days of the year involved cars stranded in flood water, being hit by vans or lorries blown off-course into the oncoming lane of traffic or drivers simply losing control in a sudden gust.”
The AA said that car related claims accounted for 9% of claims last week. These included cases of trampolines hitting cars while blowing down the street, wheelie bins being blown over the road, one case of a greenhouse being tossed onto a car “sending glass everywhere”, and a few cases of flying sheets and tarpaulins blocking peoples view and causing accidents.