EXPERTS are warning that climate change will bring more and more strong storms, and the North of England will be disproportionately hit.

Rising temperatures will bring more and more damaging wind storms, insurers have said, and even a small increase will lead to growing insurance losses.

Analysis done for the Association of British Insurers (ABI) by AIR Worldwide shows that if temperatures rise by 4.5C , insurance costs due to wind damage in Yorkshire could soar by 49 per cent. Even if temperature changes are kept to 1.5C, the cost of Yorkshire losses could grow by 28 percent.

While floods and wind storms tend to result in similar levels of insurance claims for damaged property, floods tend to prompt fewer large claims while wind damage tends to be less expensive but to hit more people.

Matt Cullen, head of strategy at the ABI, said: “In the midst of all the other global uncertainties, it is important we don’t overlook the inevitable long-term impacts of climate change. Concerns about global warming often focus on rising water levels and the threat of flooding but this new research makes it clear the impact of other meteorological events such as high winds must not be overlooked.

“Severe storms result in claims costing billions of pounds. The likelihood of these claims increasing in the future is something the insurance industry, and society, need to start preparing for now.

“Planners and builders should be aware of the need for more wind-resistant construction in specific areas of the country if claims are to be kept to a minimum and residents spared the distress and expense of higher levels of wind damage.” The report also points to Met Office analysis which shows small increases in temperature are likely to shift stronger winds further north. This means increased losses and damage will not be spread evenly but are likely to be concentrated in Northern Ireland, northern England and the Midlands.”