A rising wave of metal theft is causing British insurers to pay out more than £1 million every week, an insurance conference concluded.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI), who held the talks, has said that everything from train cables to sculptures are stolen, with around 1,000 incidents taking place every week.
Five years ago there was half the number of metal thefts occurring and insurers are bearing the impacts of the crime wave. However, it could be costing the wider economy as much as £770 million per year due to the direct financial loss of the theft, disruption and lost business.
“Metal thieves are putting lives at risk, causing expensive damage and massive disruption," said Nick Starling, the ABI's director of general insurance.
"From delayed train journeys to loss of telephone and internet connections, to damaged churches, most people are affected by this crime."
The ABI, therefore, supports government action to make it more difficult to shift stolen metal, as well as tougher repercussions for offenders.
Insurance firms should act now to improve the security of its customers, as well as compensating those afflicted.