Swiss Re: German hailstorm insurance industry loss up to $2.7 billion

by Artemis on September 23, 2013

Reinsurance firm Swiss Re has estimated the impact of recent hailstorms in Germany and outs the industry-wide insured loss total at between $2 billion and $2.7 billion, while its own loss burden is estimated at $240 million, net of retrocession and before tax.

Swiss Re is the second major reinsurer to come forward with a loss estimate for the German hail events. Last week French reinsurer SCOR estimated the impact to the insurance industry at up to EUR3 billion ($4 billion).

These estimates make the hailstorms, which struck Germany in late July, one of the largest insured catastrophe losses of the year. Following on from the severe flooding in Central Europe, the large European reinsurers have not had as loss free a year as some of their Bermudian and U.S. counterparts.

Matthias Weber, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Underwriting Officer, commented; “The two hail tracks with golf-ball sized hail stones massively damaged roofs, smashed windows and destroyed solar panels and other installations. Supporting insurers and policy holders in times of natural catastrophes like this is the continuation of what Swiss Re has been doing successfully for the past 150 years.”

Still to report insured loss estimates are German insurer Allianz and German reinsurer Munich Re, both of whom are expected to be impacted heavily by the events due to their considerable market-shares in the region.

As yet we have not had any reports from reinsurance-linked investment managers as to whether there is any exposure to them from collateralized reinsurance contracts they support. It may be that this is not clear until the size of the loss companies such as Allianz face is better understood. Some collateralized or ILS managers may have participated in Allianz’s reinsurance program, or other German primary insurers, which could bring with it some exposure.

Estimates seen so far suggest that these hail events could cause anywhere from $1.7 billion to $4 billion of insurance industry losses, so Swiss Re’s estimate is right in the middle of that range. We’ll update you when other estimates become available.

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