Canadian Underwriter

How France reacted to its worst flood in decades

August 16, 2016   by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours

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The museums have reopened and the level of the river Senne has stabilized, but French insurers are still counting the costs from the worst flooding Paris has seen in decades.

L’Association francaise de l’assurance estimates that the damages will total approximately €1 billion, as 140,000 claims were registered across France after torrential rains first hit the capital and surrounding areas in late May.

Most policyholders have until June 30 to file their claims, which is much longer than the usual 10 days typically accorded after a natural disaster.

At its peak, the flood water in Paris reached 6.10 metres above its normal level, forcing the famed Louvres and D’Orsay museums on the banks of the Seine to close and the government to establish an emergency relief fund.

Twenty-five percent of property and home insurance policyholders across the country received advanced compensation, l’Association said, “with particular attention paid to people in great difficulty.”

Allianz France deployed mobile units into communities to field claims and questions, while AXA Group more than doubled the period to grant emergency housing relocation to clients with home insurance left without a place to live.

French insurer Macif Group registered 5,500 claims across France as of June 5, and the number of claims was mounting, spokesperson Gaelle de Penguern told Top Broker.

In a recent report, the Association francaise de l’assurance estimated that damages linked to natural disasters in France would cost €92 billion between now and 2040. That’s €44 billion more than the amount incurred over the last 25 years.

Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the August 2016 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.