As insurers face their biggest UK storm related losses for a number of years this may impact upon local authorities in the event that insurers seek to recover their losses arising from damage caused by falling trees that were the responsibility of the local authorities. St. Jude's storm hit southern England on 27 and 28 October 2013 causing substantial damage and disruption. The cost to UK insurers is now forecast to be as much as £900 million. Further damaging storms hit more widespread parts of the country throughout December 2013 and into January and February 2014.
Local authorities are responsible for many thousands of trees located on the highway, in parks and in other open spaces. Clearly there is a substantial burden on local authorities to inspect and maintain the trees for which they are responsible.