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European hail storm insured losses approach $5 billion: Willis Re

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Willis Re, the reinsurance intermediary arm of global insurance broker Willis Group, has put an estimate of $4.74 billion (€3.5 billion) on the insured loss toll from a number of severe hail storms which struck Europe between 17th June and the 6th August.

This estimate of insured losses includes hail storm events in three major storm system events names Manni, Norbert and Othello between 17th to 21st June, Andreas, Bernd and Christian between 25th to 30th July and Dick, Ernst and Franz between 4th to 7th August.

Willis Re’s estimate of insured losses is for around €3.5 billion across Europe from the three storm periods, around €2.5 billion for Germany and around €800 million for France.

Willis Re’s estimate is the highest we have seen yet, previously French reinsurer SCOR had estimated the highest at up to €3 billion ($4 billion). It puts the events as the most severe outbreak of hail to affect the insurance industry in Europe since 1984 when severe hail hit Munich.

Andreas alone is thought to have caused between €1.5 billion and €2 billion of insured losses just in Germany. Combined the insurance industry losses from these hail storms is fast approaching the estimates of insured losses from the severe flooding that struck Germany and Central Europe this summer.

It’s no surprise then that one ILS fund was hit by these hail storms, as we reported late last week, with one constituent ILS fund of the Eurekahedge ILS Advisers Index reporting a negative of -1.99% for the month of August due to exposure to a hail event in Germany.

The extent of the losses in Europe shows just how important a peril hail is to the insurance and reinsurance industry. As such we can expect to see more of this peril coming into the ILS market as alternative capital is used to underwrite property catastrophe contracts with exposure to severe hail storms.

We will update you as more updated estimates of insured losses from these hail events are published.

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