Low storm “Bernd”: floods cost insurers billions – economy

Storm “Bernd”, which wreaked havoc in mid-July, particularly in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as in Bavaria and Saxony, costs insurers more than previously thought : between 4.5 and 5.5 billion euros The association (GDV) now estimates only the insured damage. More recently, the forecast was four to five billion euros. This sum only concerned Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. The other Länder concerned are now also included in the new figures. Five to ten percent of the total damage occurred in Bavaria and Saxony, the remaining two-thirds occurred in Rhineland-Palatinate and one-third in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Due to persistent heavy rains, the storm had hit many villages hard. Streams and streets turned into raging rivers, at least 170 people died in the floods. Houses collapsed, cellars overflowed, cars were washed away.

“According to the updated damage estimate, around 40,000 vehicles were damaged or destroyed by the floods,” said GDV Managing Director Jörg Asmussen. “The insured damage for the automobile insurer is around 200 million euros and for the transport insurer around 100 million euros.” The latter insured trucks and their cargo as well as warehouses that collapsed in the floods. According to GDV, various major insured losses in the commercial sector, each representing millions in double digits, are also to be taken into account.

Allianz alone expects claims payments of over half a billion euros to its customers. “We have already received around 10,000 damage reports on damaged houses and household items and around 3,000 damage reports on damaged vehicles,” said Jochen Haug, member of the board of directors of Allianz. The insurer assumes that these numbers will increase in the coming days. Signal Iduna has so far received damage reports amounting to 44 million euros. R + V, the insurer of Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken, had recently mentioned a sum of 167 million euros. Other companies like Provinzial and Versicherungskammer Bayern, which have significant market shares in the affected regions, have yet to release figures.

But one thing is already clear: 2021 will be the most damaging year for insurers since 2002, when storms caused damage amounting to 10.9 billion euros. But not all the devastation caused by “Bernd” is insured. In Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, only around 37% of buildings have the necessary natural risk insurance which also covers flooding. Insurance broker Aon therefore assumes economic damage totaling around 8.5 billion euros from the storm in Europe.

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