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European windstorm season losses reach EUR639m with addition of Zeus


Insurance and reinsurance industry losses due to significant European windstorms and extra-tropical cyclones in the 2016/17 winter season have reached EUR 639 million (US$680m) after another EUR 192 million (US$204m) was added for windstorm Zeus from March.

According to catastrophe loss data provider PERILS AG, windstorm Zeus which struck Europe on March 6th 2017, primarily impacting France, has caused an estimated EUR 192 million of industry losses.

Zeus took aim at France as part of a series of low-pressure systems located over the British Isles and Northern Europe. It became embedded in a strong jet stream which took the windstorm quickly over northern France and into northern Italy during 6th and 7th March 2017.

The highest wind gust value recorded during Zeus of 193km/h was recorded in Camaret-sur-Mer in Brittany, France. In south-eastern France, gusts of 185 km/h and 157km/h were measured in St Raphael on the Côte d’Azur and Ajaccio in Corsica respectively.

Eduard Held, Head of Products at PERILS, commented on Zeus; “Although our market loss estimate fell short of PERILS’ reporting threshold of EUR 200 million, we nevertheless decided to capture Zeus as a qualifying event. Given its exceptionally high gust values it will add valuable loss data to the PERILS database allowing subscribers to derive vulnerability information for France for wind speeds exceeding 30m/s.”

Adding the EUR 192 million insurance and reinsurance sector loss from windstorm Zeus to previous estimates of EUR 234 million for January’s windstorm Egon and EUR 213 million for February’s windstorm Thomas/Doris, gives a seasonal total so far from significant events reported on by PERILS of EUR 639 million.

No other European windstorm events are under investigation at the moment, so with the season all but coming to a close at this time of year it looks like the running total of insurance industry losses from major events this season will not move too much higher at future updates provided by PERILS.

Of course this isn’t all of the European windstorm insurance industry losses from the season, but for PERILS reported events the major ones are covered which are the most likely to hit reinsurance capital.

An update will be given on Zeus on 6th June, in line with PERILS reporting schedule.

European windstorm Zeus

Extratropical Cyclone Zeus, maximum gust values in km/h: Zeus affected France on 6 and 7 March 2017 with extraordinary gust values of up to 193km/h (recorded in Brittany).

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