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Mark A. Hofmann

AIR estimates insured losses from Xaver around $1 billion

December 12, 2013 - 12:14pm

Cyclone Xaver

Scaffolding ripped off of a building by a Xaver wind gust in Taufkirchen, Germany.

Insured wind losses from Europe's Extratropical Cyclone Xaver will range between €700 million ($959.4 million) and €1.4 billion ($1.92 billion), Boston-based catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide Corp. estimated Thursday.

AIR said the majority of the losses occurred in Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Losses also occurred in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Norway.

Xaver came ashore on Dec. 5 in Scotland with wind speeds comparable to those of a Category 1 hurricane, according to AIR.

“Xaver brought with it a potent combination of hurricane-force gusts, torrential rains and storm surge, which caused significant travel disruption, power outages, and property damage across parts of the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, southern Sweden and Norway,” said Gerhard Zuba, senior principal scientist at AIR, in a statement.

AIR said that despite high winds and improved flood protections across the region, structural damage is expected to be limited from Xaver, adding that reported damage has typically been to the outer building envelope, including roofs, windows and cladding.

“However, while the size of individual claims is expected to be relatively low, the overall volume of claims is expected to be significant due to the size of the affected area,” said AIR in the statement.

The modeler added that flood and coastal storm surge losses likely will be significant.