"This summer we’ve really seen the effects of extreme heat, even from leaving items out in the garden which in usual conditions you wouldn’t expect to catch fire."
- Sarah Smith LV= General Insurance head of home underwriting
LV= General Insurance is currently handling claims costs totalling to £1.2 million following the extreme heatwave and fire-related incidents occurring throughout July. The majority of claims were caused by a fire starting in a nearby open area or heathland which spread into homeowners’ gardens.
Clients involved with claims lost garages, fences, greenhouses, sheds and tools, garden furniture, and decking as well as lost trees, shrubs, and flowers. Additionally, 8% of claimants experienced the total loss of a home.
As well as fire claims LV=GI is gearing up for a peak in subsidence claims too. Between June and July this year alone, subsidence cases have risen by 205% - a percentage that is set to increase further in light of hose pipe bans.
Currently, soil moisture deficit is at the same levels seen in 2018, which could promote instability and property sinkage. LV=GI analysis has also indicated that southern and central England have both had considerably lower rainfall levels in 2022 compared to 2018.
Commenting on the situation, Sarah Smith LV= General Insurance head of home underwriting has said:
“We’re really starting to see the effects of climate change and the impact this is having on homes – whether that be a storm, flood, fire, or subsidence claims – which have all risen in recent years depending on the season.
“As a country, we’re going to need to adapt and ensure existing houses are better protected, as well as really consider the locations planned for new houses which may be in areas more prone to events such as fires starting and spreading rapidly.”