Victims of metal theft are being paid out over £1 million every week by insurers, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Metal theft is costing the UK £770 million a year and more than 1,000 accidents are caused by metal theft per week.
ABI director of general insurance Nick Starling said: “Metal thieves are putting lives at risk, causing expensive damage and massive disruption. From delayed train journeys to loss of telephone and internet connections, to damaged churches, most people are affected by this crime.
“We support Government action to make it harder to sell on stolen metal and tougher penalties for offenders. Insurers have a key role to play, not only compensating those insured, but in helping their customers take sensible security measures to reduce this ever present threat. This is why we are working with the Government to crackdown on metal thefts.”