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European windstorm Xavier loss estimated at EUR 291m: PERILS


European windstorm (or extratropical cyclone) Xavier is estimated to have caused an insurance and reinsurance industry loss of around EUR 291 million after it struck northern Europe, primarily impacting Germany, on the 5th October 2017.

storm-xavier-2017Catastrophe data loss aggregation and estimation firm PERILS AG has released its first estimate of industry insured losses for Xavier, pegging them at EUR 291 million.

An early estimate from actuarial firm Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK) on the 9th October had estimated that the insurance and reinsurance industry could face between EUR 150 million and EUR 200 million of losses from Xavier’s impacts.

Extratropical cyclone Xavier was a fast-moving storm and caused the deaths of seven people in Germany. Having struck very early in the European winter storm season, many trees were still heavy with leaves and therefore more prone to being blown over than had the same winds occurred during the winter months.

PERILS explained that Windstorm Xavier’s, “Most damaging gusts occurred along a narrow corridor approximately 250 km wide which ran ENE-WSW from Hamburg to Berlin and affected the states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Berlin. The duration of the intense winds experienced over northern and eastern Germany was approximately 14 hours, reflecting the extraordinarily rapid passage of Xavier.”

Georg Andrea, Head of Data Management at PERILS, stated, “Given the storm’s early occurrence in the European winter storm season, a significant part of the damage was caused by falling trees which still had leaves on them. Given the unusual characteristics of the Xavier event, the storm will add valuable loss data to the PERILS Database, allowing users to derive season-dependent vulnerability information for Germany.”

PERILS’ initial estimate of the property insurance market loss for storm Xavier is based on loss data collected from affected insurers post-event. PERILS will update its estimate of the Xavier market loss on 5th January 2018, three months after the event start date.

The impact of storm Xavier’s market loss is expected to be largely dealt with in the primary insurance market, with only a little of the total falling to reinsurance capital.

This is the first European windstorm of the 2017/18 winter season that has been severe enough for PERILS to report on.

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