The early winter has led to a notable rise in claims on both motor and home policies with insurers warning that it could lead to further premium hikes.
Axa is reporting that the total number of motor claims jumped 23% in a week, while the number of reported accidents almost doubled. Around half the motor policy claims involved some form of snow damage.
Home insurers are also noting "dramatic" rises in claims, largely because of damage from frozen water causing pipes to burst. There have also been a lot of problems with build-ups of snow causing guttering to break, or even damaging the roofs of sheds and greenhouses. Insurers noted the worst may be yet to come as many householders who suffer frozen pipes don't notice the damage until the weather warms up and ice thaws out.
Whether this will affect premiums depends on whether this is simply a case of winter coming early, or if it means the severe conditions lasting longer overall. A spokesman for AA Insurance told the Telegraph that premiums could go up by as much as 10% if there is indeed a harsh winter.