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Losses from Desmond floods in U.K. estimated at £604 million: PERILS


December 5, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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The fourth and final insured property market loss estimate flowing from U.K. flooding in the wake of storm Desmond in late 2015 is £604 million, reports PERILS AG.

Rain drops falling from a black umbrella concept for bad weatherDesmond and other low-pressure systems caused effects over a three-week period from Dec. 4 to 24 in 2015, notes a statement Friday from PERILS, the independent Zurich- based organization providing industry-wide catastrophe insurance data.

The £604 million estimate is up considerably from the third estimate issued in early June, £597 million. That was lower than the £662 million estimate in early March and the initial estimate of £717 million just a month following the event.

In that initial estimate, PERILS noted windstorm losses from the event are estimated at £42 million (Desmond’s losses from windstorm do not qualify for further reporting).

“Storm Desmond was the most prominent of a series of depression systems, which affected the U.K. in November and the first half of December 2015,” PERILS reported earlier, bringing record-breaking rainfall mainly to the Northwest of England.

The ground was already saturated from a series of depression systems during the month of November. This led to severe flooding, which mainly affected the counties of Cumbria and Lancashire, with the floods peaking on Dec. 5 and 6, and also exceeding historical records.

In light of the saturated ground, “it is no surprise that extensive flooding occurred from overflowing rivers and surface water run-off,” PERILS noted.

Beyond the U.K., Ireland and Scandinavia were also affected by wind and rain from Desmond between Dec. 4 and 6.

PERILS reports that the latest estimated provides information by area code, broken down by residential and commercial property lines, as well as percentage of area flooded within each zone, average water depth within each zone, and maximum gauge height above the 5% gauge level within each zone.

Related: 2015 U.K. storm Desmond loss estimate at 597 million pounds: PERILS