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Germany flood loss said €5.7bn by BAFIN, with €1bn reinsured


Expectations for insurance and reinsurance market losses from the July flood disaster in Germany are rising, with regulator BAFIN estimating the toll at €5.7 billion, around €1 billion of which it expects will fall to reinsurance firms from the country.

Flooding in Germany, photo from Christoph Reichwein - AFP

Flooding in Germany, photo from Christoph Reichwein – AFP

At the same time, the German insurance association, GDV, now expects the flood insured loss will be close to the top-end of its original €4.5 billion to €5.5 billion estimated range.

Damage and cost expectations have risen as greater clarity over the claims burden emerged.

BAFIN surveyed over 150 primary insurance carriers and 28 reinsurance firms to come to its estimate of €5.7 billion of market losses for the floods in Germany.

The GDV now says that insurance claims filed from the flooding have reached around 190,000, while insurers have been paying advance claims payments to customers.

“The companies have so far paid out advances of around 700 million euros to their customers,” explained general manager of the German Insurance Association (GDV), Jörg Asmussen, on Wednesday in Berlin. “Of this, a good 500 million euros are attributable to damage in the private sector such as residential buildings, household items and vehicles, and almost 200 million euros to commercial risks.”

“We are now expecting that the amount of damage will be around the upper end of our estimate,” Asmussen continued.

Asmussen broke down the claims into around 160,000 personal lines and 30,000 commercial.

North Rhine-Westphalia is the heart of the flood disaster, with around 135,000 claims, including 21,000 covering commercial risks.

Around 33,000 claims were counted in Rhineland-Palatinate, 4,000 of which were commercial risks.

The remaining approximately 20,000 claims occurred across the rest of Germany, mainly in the states of Bavaria and Saxony.

Asmussen also urged for greater penetration of flood insurance coverage in Germany, as still over 50% of the damage looks set to be uncovered.

We’ve been tracking some of the companies with larger reinsurance or retrocession recoveries from the flooding, with the most recent being W&W Group, or Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG, a major German insurance carrier, that reported a €400 million gross loss from the flooding in July, but said this will be minimised by its catastrophe reinsurance program.

We also reported that Talanx, the parent of Hannover Re, which said it expects a gross loss of around EUR 600 million, but that thee net impact is likely to be a little more than EUR 300 million, suggesting a relatively significant reinsurance and retrocession recovery.

Belgian insurer Ageas reported an expectation of a reinsurance recovery that could be in the region of €350 million.

Last week we reported that Allianz expects around a €900 million gross flood loss, but to recover around €500 million of this from its excess-of-loss reinsurance.

Deutsche Rück said that its retrocession program will be triggered and protect its balance-sheet against some of the financial impacts of the recent severe flooding in Germany.

We also reported that, European insurer Generali also expects to recover from its reinsurance partners for the recent storm and flood losses in Europe.

In addition, insurer AXA said that it estimates that losses from July’s floods that hit Germany, Belgium, and other parts of Western and Central Europe, will be around EUR 400 million, which it reported before tax and net of expected reinsurance recoveries.

Hannover Re said it is anticipating a net loss of up to EUR 250 million from the recent severe flooding across Europe and in particular Germany.

While Swiss Re said it expects mid-triple digit millions of losses from the flooding and South African riots.

Finally, reinsurance giant Munich Re said it expects mid-three- digit million euro losses from the July flooding in Germany and across Central Europe.

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