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FBD 'won't hike cover'

FBD says it has no plans to increase insurance premiums, despite a surge in claims from customers hit with property damage following last winter's storms.

Profits plunged 82pc at FBD Insurance, in part because of the cost of damage after high winds battered the country in February.

Damage to farms, especially to agricultural out-buildings, accounted for 7,000 of the 9,000 claims that were directly linked to the storms. The company was also hit by increased motoring claims, as the economic recovery means more people on the roads, and more crashes.