Insured losses of €4 billion to €5 billion are expected for North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate

The floods which have devastated Germany and other parts of Europe, damaging over 70,000 properties and costing billions of euros in economic losses are a reminder of how weather patterns are changing and the risks involved. This is according to Typhaine Beaupérin, CEO of FERMA.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of these devastating floods. The surprisingly heavy rains and floods (in Belgium the water went up to 3 metres high in some places) add to other extreme weather events that we have seen this year already, such as the extremely high temperatures in Western Canada and floods in China. They are another wake-up call for all of us.”

“Such events are expected to increase in frequency and severity as the result of climate change. The EU with its “fit for 55” legislative package is a step in the right direction. We call on others in the world to follow the path, looking ahead to the Conference of the Parties (COP26) conference on 31 Oct-12 November 2021.” 

Last week’s flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, triggered by low-pressure area “Bernd,” has caused insured losses of around €4 billion to €5 billion, according to initial preliminary estimates by the German insurance association, the Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. (GDV).

Claims costs are expected to be even higher than the August flood of 2002 of, which resulted in insurance losses of €4.65 billion. 

Actual economic losses are expected to be much higher, as less than half of residential building insurance policyholders have comprehensive cover against elemental perils in Germany, indicating a sizable protection gap where flood risk is concerned.

Determining the extent of the destruction is a significant challenge for loss adjusters in regions where infrastructure has been badly hit.

“FERMA continues to press for a pan-European systemic catastrophe risk resilience framework to help businesses recover from widespread catastrophe events,” added Beaupérin.

”Such an EU-wide public-private partnership would be an important contribution to our resilience to climate change-related risks. Even if individual countries have catastrophe risk schemes, the impact of floods and windstorms is not limited by national borders.”