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German insurers paid nearly $1.5bn for H1 catastrophe & weather claims


The German insurance industry paid out almost $1.5 billion in claims for natural catastrophes and severe weather events in the first-half of 2019.

Weather image from DreamaticoWindstorms and hail drove a significant proportion of the losses, with convective weather related storms and hail again featuring as a component of the impacts felt in the German insurance and reinsurance sector.

In recent years the incidence of large hail events in Germany has been a significant contributor to the sectors losses, as too have related convective perils such as tornadoes.

In 2019’s first-half , the German Insurance Association (GDV) said that the insurance industry faced around EUR 1.3 billion (US $1.45bn) of claims to pay from natural perils including windstorms, hail, lightning and heavy rain.

Residential property damages actually came out slightly below the long-term average at EUR 730 million, compared to the average of EUR 800 million, while another EUR 550 million was related to motor vehicle losses, the association said.

For autos, the damages are around 10% higher than the average, which the association said is largely due to hail related loss events.

“Despite the hail damage to cars, we currently expect a normal year of damage in 2019,” explained Bernhard Gause, member of the board of GDV.

“The storm series and hailstorm at Pentecost have shown again: a few events can do a lot of damage in a short time,” he continued.

Home insurers suffered close to EUR 660 million of the losses faced due to storms and hail, while heavy rainfall and flood related insured losses were half the average at just EUR 70 million.

However, much of the loss from rainfall related damages goes uninsured, the GDV noted, saying that the actual economic cost will have been much higher, reflecting work still to do for the insurance and reinsurance industry in Germany in increasing penetration of insurance protection.

With losses coming in below average it has been a relatively benign first-half in Germany for natural hazard impacts, which will easily have been absorbed by the insurers operating there and the dominant local reinsurance giants.

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