Reinsurance News

2021 most expensive catastrophe year yet for German insurers, says GDV

3rd September 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

The German Insurance Association (GDV) says that 2021 will likely be the most expensive year on record for natural hazard losses in Germany, with insurers in the country having already booked about €11.5 billion in costs.

germany flooding

Altenahr, Germany, Monday, July 19, 2021 (Boris Roessler/dpa via AP)

This figure includes insured storm damage to houses, household effects, businesses and vehicles, with the July floods accounting for around €7 billion of the total.

Of the flood losses, around €6.5 billion is for residential buildings, household effects and businesses, and around €450 million is for motor vehicles.

The previous highest years on record for insured catastrophe losses in Germany include 2002, when €11.3 billion of losses were recorded, and 1990, when storms Daria, Vivian and Wiebke contributed to an €11.5 billion bill.

“2021 could thus be the most expensive year for natural hazards since our statistics began in the early 1970s,” said GDV Managing Director Jörg Asmussen.

The storm front Bernd swept across large parts of Germany from July 13th to 18th, bringing heavy rain and flash floods to areas such as Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, but also in Bavaria and Saxony.

And as early as June, a series of storms in Germany caused around €1.7 billion euros in insured damage.

“The hail damage to around 275,000 cars alone cost the insurers around 700 million euros,” explained Asmussen, who added that 2021 will also be an above-average loss year for motor insurers, due in part to this event.

“We expect the property / casualty sector as a whole to be in the red this year,” he continued. “This was most recently the case in the flood years of 2002 and 2013, when the Elbe, Danube and adjacent rivers overflowed their banks and triggered flood disasters. ”

The economic loss for Germany will, of course, be much higher than the insured share, following a busy few months for catastrophic weather activity.

The GDV notes that many buildings in the country are only partially insured, with almost all protected against storms and hail, but less than half against heavy rain and floods.

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