THE BILL for the recent storms is now estimated to have risen to over £13 million.

NFU Mutual has increased its estimate following the gales which struck Northern Ireland, the Western Isles and northern Scotland on Jan 12.

“It looks likely that over 4,000 of our policyholders have suffered damage in the storms and that the bill could exceed £13m,” said David Sweeney, chief claims manager.

“This would make it the worst UK weather event since October 2000 when storms and floods led to policyholder‘s claims totalling £20m.”

Mr Sweeney said some of the worst damage had been reported in remote locations – such as the Western Isles.

“In Stornaway, alone, our office is dealing with over 300 claims ranging from damaged roofs to farm buildings which have been completely destroyed.”

He added that electricity was still being restored to some remote areas, making claims for spoiled frozen food inevitable.