The insurance and reinsurance industry loss from ex-hurricane Ophelia has been found to be just EUR 60 million by PERILS AG, which said that while a rare form of European windstorm the impacts from Ophelia were much less severe than feared.
Ophelia has been the largest hurricane ever recorded so far east in the North Atlantic, being a category 3 hurricane up until the 14th October.
Ophelia weakened after encountering colder and drier air on the 15th October as it passed the Azores, which weakened it considerably.
The storm struck Ireland and the United Kingdom on 16th and 17th October 2017, causing what PERILS terms, “significant damage across Ireland and to a lesser extent in Wales, Northern Ireland, North-Western England and Scotland.”
Despite this significant damage the impact to insurable interest has been very low for a storm with wind gusts in the Category 1 region.
PERILS said that based on loss data collected from affected insurers, the company puts the overall insured property market loss for Ophelia at just EUR 60 million, with most of the damage in Ireland where an insurance market loss of EUR 49 million was incurred, while the market loss in the UK was only GBP £10 million.
Luzi Hitz, CEO of PERILS, commented on the findings, “In the aftermath of Ophelia, some reports suggested that losses from the event in Ireland alone could reach USD 1.8bn. After our loss data collection from affected insurance companies, we can conclude that the impact was much less severe, and that the insured loss is entirely manageable by the insurance and reinsurance industries. This storm clearly demonstrates the importance of having an independent source for post-event loss data which allows the market to compare the modelled results against the actual loss data.”
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