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Xynthia loss estimates range from $1B to $4B


Catastrophe modeling companies have projected insured losses ranging from roughly $1 billion to $4 billion as a result of Windstorm Xynthia that struck portions of Europe.

EQECAT Inc. estimated Thursday that the mean insured gross loss from Xynthia will reach €994 million ($1.35 billion). EQECAT said 65% of its loss estimate from the late February storm that claimed at least 62 lives is from damage in France. Twenty-five percent of the loss occurred in Germany and 10% in Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands, the Oakland, Calif.-based modeling company said.

The estimate, however, does not include damage in Portugal and Spain, which EQECAT's windstorm model does not cover. It also does not include losses from storm surge, which were heavy along France's Atlantic coast.

EQECAT said its figures are based on an “event footprint” generated by its methodology that gathers information from around 700 meteorological stations in Europe. The mean insured gross loss is an average, and actual losses could fall somewhere above or below the mean, EQECAT said.

Also Thursday, catastrophe modeling company Risk Management Solutions Inc. in Newark, Calif., said Xynthia would cost private-market insurers between €1 billion ($1.36 billion) and €2 billion ($2.72 billion).

AIR Worldwide Corp., a Boston-based modeling company, previously estimated that insured losses from the storm would range from €1.5 billion ($2.04 billion) to €3 billion ($4.09 billion). The estimate does not include business interruption or infrastructure losses.