Insurance companies are using global warming to justify a huge hike in home cover premiums — even if the homeowners don’t live near rivers or the sea and have never made a claim for storm damage. The Mail‘s This is Money supplement has more.
In some cases, households have seen the prices of building and contents policies as much as triple, with “changes to weather patterns” given as the reason for the rocketing costs.
Online boutique owner Helena Adams, 66, lives in a £575,000 three-bedroom house in Harrow, north-west London — with the River Thames eight miles away.
She could not believe her eyes when she opened a letter from insurer Esure in July and read the words, “following changes to weather patterns we have reviewed the risk associated with your property”, as an explanation for hiking her home insurance from £291 to £687.
Helena was understandably baffled. She says: “About 15 years ago, a living room radiator valve leaked on the carpet and we made a claim. That is the closest to flooding or storm damage we have got.”
Incensed, Helena cancelled her Esure policy and took out a like-for-like deal with MBNA Bank for £218 a year — £73 less than she’d paid with Esure the previous year.
Freelance journalist Rosie Murray-West was also told in the summer that as a result of changes to weather patterns, her premiums with Esure would be rising from £374 a year to £1,186.
Like Helena, Rosie does not live in the storm-battered Channel Islands, near flood plains or on the edge of a cliff.
Rather, her four-bedroom property is at the top of a hill in South London and five miles from the River Thames.
She says: “I was sent a standard letter with no explanation for the unjustifiable price hike other than blaming the weather.
“What nonsense to use global warming as an excuse to hike premiums. I am now paying £400 a year with competitor More Than —about the same cost as before.”
Worth reading in full.