Huge costs of Storm Arwen in Northumberland revealed by insurer

A staggering £28 million worth of Storm Arwen-related insurance claims have been received by NFU Mutual in the North East alone.
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Claims from the region in the wake of last November’s storm make up a third of the UK-wide total, the insurer has revealed.

The storm brought chaos to the region, with ruthless weather conditions bringing down trees, damaging buildings, and disrupting travel.

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Gusts of almost 100mph were recorded at Brizlee Wood, near Alnwick, as Northumberland bore the brunt.

Storm damage in Bamburgh.Storm damage in Bamburgh.
Storm damage in Bamburgh.

In the months since the devastating storm, NFU Mutual has been supporting around 8,000 customers across the UK who suffered losses costing over £80m at the hands of Storm Arwen.

One of those customers was publican Michael Dawson, owner of the Black Swan Inn in Seahouses and The Craster Arms and Salt Water Cafe in Beadnell.

He explained: “The storm hit the area hard, and with the Black Swan undergoing renovations, the property was particularly vulnerable to the weather.

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"The chimney stack blew off, breaking through tiles and leaving a hole in the roof. As the rain continued, we had to move quickly with plastic sheeting to minimise the water damage.

The Black Swan Inn, Seahouses.The Black Swan Inn, Seahouses.
The Black Swan Inn, Seahouses.

“We called our local NFU Mutual Agent, and everything was so straightforward. I provided pictures of the damage and a quote for repair and had the funds within 48 hours. I was able to begin repair works just three days after the damage took place.

“We started the renovations back in 2019 with plans to reopen in 2020. Obviously Coronavirus has brought a few speedbumps since then!

"When the storm hit, I was worried we would face yet more delays, but thanks to the speed of service from NFU Mutual, we only suffered a minor setback, and are looking forward to welcoming back customers next month when we plan to officially re-open.

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“This isn’t the first claim I’ve had to make, and being able to pick up the phone to someone you know - a friendly local voice who understands the area and my business - makes all the difference in those stressful moments. I insure all three of my local hospitality venues with NFU Mutual and wouldn’t go anywhere else.”