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Insurers report increase in claims

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The bitterly cold weather has led to an increase in the number of household and motor insurance claims, according to a study.

Research by Association of British Insurers showed a 13% year-on-year rise in motor insurance claims, while home claims are now twice higher than during the same period last year.

Insurers received claims relating to road accidents caused by widespread snow and ice. They also saw a surge in household claims for damage caused by burst pipes.

Tom Woolgrove, managing director of personal lines at Direct Line, said: "We are currently experiencing a substantial increase in customer calls and claims, which is no surprise, considering the extremity of the weather.

"Our motor insurance claims are 13% higher compared to the same time last year and home claims have doubled.

"Whilst the initial heavy and rapid snowfall resulted in less claims, as people tended to stay indoors, we are now going through a prolonged period of thaw and freeze, at a time when more people are venturing out.

"These conditions result in more ice on the roads and a greater chance of burst pipes."

© Press Association 2010