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Kyrill German losses in excess of $2.6 billion


MUNICH, Germany—AIR Worldwide has estimated that winter storm Kyrill will cause insured losses in Germany of at least €2 billion ($2.59 billion).

Following on from last week's European windstorm, catastrophe modelling firm AIR sent teams to affected areas. The firm estimated that Germany will have sustained the largest losses, due to the frequency of the damage and the geographic spread.

Rival modelling company EQECAT also expected Germany to be the primary source of insured losses. The level of damage in general was low however, and commercial buildings came off better than residential ones.

EQECAT has reported that a winter storm of Kyrill's stature has a recurrence interval of seven to 10 years, and has estimated that the insured losses in Western Europe will be in the range of €2.5 billion ($3.24 billion) to €5 billion ($6.49 billion).

"What will drive the losses from this storm is the sheer number of claims. From what we've seen on the ground, insured losses in Germany are likely to be at least €2 billion and could well exceed that figure, particularly in light of reports of more sever damage in the estern part of the country, where structures may have been less well-maintained over the years," said Yorn Tatge, managing director of AIR Worldwide, GmbH in Munich, Germany.

According to Mr. Tatge the primary damage was to roofs, with as many as two in ten houses missing roof shingles in the hardest hit areas. And further damage was caused by trees falling onto houses.

The total insured losses will have been exacerbated by the fact that the storm affected "virtually all of Germany's sixteen states," with the worst damaged occurring in Westphalia and Lower Saxony.