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Dutch insurers estimate $566M storm losses as European bill nears $3.4B

Europe storms

The Dutch insurance association Verbond van Verzekeraars has forecast that insured damage caused by the three storms to hit the Netherlands during the past week will top €500 million ($566.2 million).

Cologne-based actuarial consulting firm Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss has also increased its forecast for insured losses caused by the three storms in Germany to €1.6 billion. The latest, storm Franklin, called Antonia in Germany, will add another €200 million to the German bill, predicted the firm.

When added to the U.K. losses of at least £425 million and so far unreported estimates in Belgium and France, the total insured loss will likely top €3 billion ($3.4 billion).

The VVV said that storms Dudley (Ylenia), Eunice (Zeynep) and Franklin (Antonia) all caused major damage to private property, as well as killing four people in the Netherlands alone.

The association said there may also be further damage in the coming days, as trees and branches weakened in the earlier storms are hit by further strong gusts of wind. The final bill is likely to be higher than the current €500 million estimate as a result.

The worst damage was recorded in the provinces of Noord and Zuid-Holland.

On the escalating German losses, Onnen Siems, managing director at MSK, said: “The storm field of the Antonia low (international name Franklin) crossed Germany in the night of 20-21 February 2022 and caused insured losses of €200 million. The highest wind speeds were measured when the cold front passed through, in connection with showers and heavy precipitation. This ends a week with three damaging storms in a row. The wind hasn’t died down completely, but the peak values of the last few days are no longer reached.”

Mr. Siems pointed out that the series of storms in such quick succession is unprecedented in Germany.

“In the weather records, which go back more than 50 years, there has never been such a series of storms in Germany… the record storm winter of 1989/1990 was an exception. Then, it was two gravure systems that hit Germany with damage in quick succession. Vivian was followed so closely by Wiebke that it was not possible to precisely separate the damage caused by the event. Together, the two storms caused €800 million of damage for German insurers. In today’s terms, this is about €2 billion,” said Mr. Siems.

“If you disregard the current series of storms and the ‘storm sisters’ Vivian and Wiebke from 1990, all other storms in Germany during the past 50 years were exclusively singular events,” he added.

Mr. Siems said that from a wider European perspective, the Lothar and Martin storms in December 1999 were also an exception. Lothar mainly caused damage in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, while Martin moved on a more southerly path via France and Switzerland.

“The total damage amount of €1.6 billion for Ylenia, Zeynep and Antonia is easily exceeded by individual storm events such as Kyrill in 2007, but it still represents a turbulent start to the damage-year 2022. The insurance industry can handle claims of this magnitude well. However, the year is still young and further storm or flood events could put the division in the red as in the previous year,” concluded Mr. Siems.










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