Willis Re: UK insured losses from windstorm Christian £300m to £500m

by Artemis on October 29, 2013

Reinsurance broker Willis Re is the first to issue an estimate of insured losses from this weeks European windstorm Christian for the UK. The UK was the first country to be directly hit by Christian and Willis Re estimates insured losses will be between £300m and £500m.

The estimate from Willis Re is likely consistent with a Europe market-wide insured property loss in the region of €1 billion to €2 billion, Artemis would suggest. If the insured losses in the UK alone reach £300m ($480m or €350m) it will certainly mean that European windstorm Christian (or St Jude as it is named in the UK) will become a reported event for PERILS AG.

Tim Edwards, Executive Director at Willis Re UK commented; “Based on our research we believe insured losses in the UK for the St Jude’s Day storm to be in the region of £300-500 million. Losses from the storm were concentrated predominantly in the South of England, with significant damage coming from fallen trees – which were heavily laden with leaves because of the time of year, fallen tiles and smashed windows. Overall damages are comparable to a present day 2007 Windstorm Kyrill.”

European windstorm Kyrill resulted in a European insurance industry loss of €3.651 billion, according to PERILS AG. If Christian were to cause as large a loss it will certainly result in losses to industry loss warranties and other industry loss triggered reinsurance contracts.

Windstorm Christian is still a developing event, with it still impacting some Baltic states. It is also worth noting that wind speeds recorded from Christian were higher in other northern European countries than in the UK. The final loss estimates are some way off, but as very early estimates of insured losses emerge the picture is beginning to point to something potentially quite meaningful for the reinsurance market.

As we wrote earlier, ILS investment manager Plenum Investments said that it does not expect Christian will impact any exposed catastrophe bonds it holds in its ILS fund portfolio.

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