More than £1bn was paid out by insurers to homes and businesses due to weather damage in 2023 - a new record - as storms battered the country at the tail end of the year.

The country was hit by storms Babet, Ciaran, Debi and Gerrit in the last three months of the year, with the North-east of Scotland often taking the most damage.

Now, The Association of British Insurers say claims for homes damaged by weather rose 36% in 2023.

Flooding damage hit insurers hardest, costing them around £286m across the year.

Aberdeenshire was one of the areas hit hardest by Storm Babet in October as a red weather warning, including danger to life warnings, came into force.

Damage caused by gale force winds and debris rose to £133m, while burst pipe damage - most of which occurred at the start of the year- cost £153m.

Businesses were paid out £443m due to weather damage.

Louise Clark, a policy adviser at the insurers’ association, said: "Extreme weather events may not feel so rare as they used to as we grapple with a changing climate.

"Insurers continue to be there for affected homeowners, with payouts hitting record levels after a particularly difficult autumn and winter, with seemingly countless storms, from Agnes onwards, leading to significant flooding."

The association is now calling for changes to the planning system to "discourage building where flooding might be more likely".

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