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04-11-2020

UK home insurance claim statistics

Home insurance provides essential cover for homeowners throughout the UK. There are effectively three types of home insurance policies: buildings insurance, contents insurance, and buildings & contents insurance as a combined policy. 

In 2019 the average annual premium for a combined buildings & contents insurance policy was £315, which is a slight increase over the previous year.

For many people, home insurance exists merely as a safety net, often never used at all. In fact, since 2010 the number of property insurance claims notified in the UK has seen a consistent year-on-year decrease. In 2017 there were 1.23 million home insurance claims made in the UK, compared with 2.96 million in 2010 (a 147% drop).

The following home insurance claim statistics have been compiled to shed further light on the UK home insurance market.

Insurers pay out £9m per day for home insurance claims

In 2018, insurers paid out £17m per day in property claims, of which £9m was for household claims and £8m for commercial claims. 

This is a slight increase over 2017 when insurers paid out a total of £7.8m and £6.5m for household claims and commercial property claims respectively.

The acceptance rate for home insurance claims is 82.8%

During the 2017/18 period, 82.8% of the total number of home insurance claims made were accepted, a slight increase over the previous period.

Since 2018, there have been two insurers with a claims acceptance rate of approximately 99%. The five home insurance companies with the highest claims acceptance rates in the UK in 2019 were:

  • Gresham Insurance: Claims acceptance rate of 98.75%
  • UK Insurance Ltd: Claims acceptance rate of 98.75%
  • AmTrust Europe: Claims acceptance rate of 96.2%
  • Zurich: Claims acceptance rate of 96.2%
  • Aviva: Claims acceptance rate of 96.2%

Most common home insurance claims

Escape of water is by far the leading cause of home insurance claims in the UK, accounting for 30% of all domestic claims. 

This is followed by fires & explosions (accounting for 17% of claims) and theft, domestic subsidence, which account for 12% of claims respectively.

  • Escape of water 30%
  • Fire & explosion 17%
  • Theft 12%
  • Domestic subsidence 12%
  • Other domestic claims 12%
  • Accidental damage 11%
  • Weather 6%

Insurers pay out £1.8m for escape of water claims every day

Escape of water isn’t only the leading cause of home insurance claims, it’s also one of the most expensive. According to ABI (The Association of British Insurers), insurers pay out £1.8m for escape of water claims every day.

A quarter of escape of water insurance claims are caused by neighbouring properties

Research from Direct Line Home Insurance suggests seven home insurance claims are made every day due to water damage caused by leaks from neighbours’ properties. This accounts for almost a quarter (23%) of all home insurance claims for escape of water in flats since 2018.

The financial impact of water leaking from or into a neighbouring property is significant, with the damage estimated at £2.8m per year.

Making a flood claim could double the cost of your home insurance

Data from MoneySuperMarket shows that consumers whose home has been flooded pay an average of £199 per year for a home insurance policy, compared with £96 a year for those who haven’t made flood insurance claims.

Financial Ombudsman complaints about home insurance up 42% YoY

The number of complaints received by the Financial Ombudsman about buildings insurance policies soared 42% in 2018/2019 to 6,723.

More than a third (35%) of these complaints were upheld in favour of the customer.

The lowest average insurance claim pay-out by an insurer is £1,250

The home insurance companies with the lowest average insurance claim pay-out in the UK in 2019 were:

  • Cornish Mutual: £1,250 per pay-out
  • UK insurance Ltd: £2,250 per pay-out
  • Ageas Insurance: £2,750 per pay-out
  • Axis / Novae: £2,750 per pay-out
  • Legal and General: £2,750 per pay-out

The highest average insurance claim pay-out by an insurer is £11,250

The home insurance companies with the lowest average insurance claim pay-out in the UK in 2019 were:

  • Hiscox: £11,250 per pay-out
  • St Andrews Group: £9,250 per pay-out
  • Ecclesiastical Insurance: £6,250 per pay-out
  • Canopius: £6,250 per pay-out
  • CIS: £5,250 per pay-out

How long do home insurance claims take?

A home insurance claim may take days or years, depending on many factors including the insurer and the complexity of the claim. For a more detailed explanation, watch our How long does an insurance claim take? explainer video.

Sources:

  • www.abi.org.uk
  • www.statista.com
  • www.directlinegroup.co.uk
  • www.moneysupermarket.com
  • www.annualreview.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

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