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Fires most commonly occur in residences

During 2021, over 31,000 damages caused by fire and lightning were covered by home, houseowner, vacation home, boat, as well as business and real property insurance.

For these damages, insurance companies paid out a total of nearly 6.1 SEK billion in insurance compensation. The amount of compensation for fire and lightning damages varies greatly depending on the type of property that has been damaged, its assessed value, and the extent of the damage. The number of damages caused by fires and lightening is relatively low. Out of the total number of damages that occurred in residences and businesses in 2021, fires and lightening accounted for just under 4 per cent. However, these damages accounted for over 30 per cent of the total amount of all claims payments for households and businesses. The majority of all fires, 71 per cent, occur in residences, while 22 per cent occur in businesses.

In many cases, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of a fire. Out of the number of fires that occurred during the period 2017-2021, one-third (33 per cent) had an undetermined cause. The claims payments for these damages accounted for nearly 60 per cent. This is partly since if a building has completely burned down, it can be almost impossible to investigate the exact cause of the fire, and the cost of reconstruction becomes higher when the property is completely destroyed and needs to be rebuilt.

Among the fires where the cause could be determined, various types of electrical fires are primarily causing expensive damages. During the period 2017-2021, a total of almost 20,000 fires caused by various electrical faults occurred. This could involve short circuits in appliances and electrical faults in fixed installations. In total, during this 5-year period, 5.2 billion SEK were paid out due to electrical fires.

Every year, between 900 and 1,000 suspected cases of arson occur. The claims payments for these damages amounted to 539 million SEK in 2021. This is an increase compared to previous years, even as the total claims payments for fires decreased. Between 2020 and 2021, the claims payments increased by 35 per cent for suspected cases of arson.