Canadian Underwriter

European flood damage could cost insurers EUR 1 billion

August 20, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Losses from flooding throughout Europe could reach EUR 1 billion (Cdn$1.54 billion), suggests a report from Swiss Re.
Heavy rainfall has led to flooding in the Black Sea region, and through Germany, Austria, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and United Kingdom. Thus far, 100 fatalities have been reported, but the flood conditions continue to move eastward towards Slovakia.
Initial estimates of total economic loss for Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic exceed EUR 5 billion. However, because flood insurance is not common in the affected countries, insured losses will be well below this mark, the Swiss Re report notes. In the past, insured losses were about 20% of total losses in some of these areas, hence the EUR 1 billion figure. However, the Austrian Insurance Association is currently pegging insured losses at EUR 100 million, less than 10% of the expected economic damage in that region.

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