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January storms expected to cost European insurers over $2 bn

9th February 2018 - Author: Staff Writer

The Atlantic storm systems that impacted Western and Central Europe in January are expected to cost European insurers more than $2 billion, according to Aon’s latest catastrophe report.

Aon logoThe German Insurance Association (GDV) said the most significant windstorm Friederike, was the costliest windstorm in the country since Windstorm Kyrill in 2007, with preliminary payouts listed at approximately EUR1 billion (US $1.24 billion).

Friederike killed at least 13 people after hurricane-force wind gusts and heavy rainfall affected Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

Michal Lörinc, an analyst with Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight team, said; “a meteorologically active January resulted in elevated windstorm losses in Europe.

“When looking at the combined effect of storms Friederike, Eleanor and Carmen, windstorm-related economic and insured losses in Europe are already comparable to the annual totals recorded throughout 2017.

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“The busy stretch of storms allowed Impact Forecasting to deploy its European windstorm model and help clients better capture the expected loss impact from each event in real-time.”

Other regional insurance groups reported additional payouts exceeding EUR100 million (USD125 million).

Windstorms Eleanor and Carmen also impacted Western and Central Europe, killing at least seven people and causing notable damage in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, and Switzerland with preliminary insured losses listed in the hundreds of millions (EUR), Aon said.

Further severe weather events noted in the Aon January report include a powerful storm system which impacted the United States, leaving economic damage estimated at US $1.1 billion, and expected insured losses at US $750 million.

In France, persistent heavy rainfall led to flooding along multiple rivers, potentially driving costs in the hundreds of millions (EUR).

The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) cited periods of frigid temperatures impacting the agricultural sector leaving winter weather damage expected at about US $1.8 billion.

In addition, wintry weather led to casualties and damage in Japan, India, Nepal, Canada, and Lebanon and heavy rainfall in California prompted flash flooding and mudslides, killing at least 21 people, leaving total expected economic damage in the hundreds of millions.

Other flood events were noted by Aon in Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Philippines and two powerful cyclones in the South West Indian Ocean led to widespread damage.

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