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PERILS: €275m first loss estimate for European windstorm Dirk


PERILS AG has announced its first estimate of insured property losses for December’s European windstorm Dirk this morning. PERILS initial estimate for windstorm Dirk is for an insured property market loss of €275m (approx $375m or £230m).

PERILS AG is a Zurich based provider of industry-wide European catastrophe insurance exposure, industry loss data and indices. The firm has been kept particularly busy in the current European windstorm season, with so many low pressure systems developing to a level that causes meaningful property insurance market losses.

Windstorm Dirk struck northern Europe, predominantly affecting the UK and France, from the 23rd to the 25th December. The majority of these losses are from southern England in the UK as well as Brittany and Normandy in France, according to PERILS.

PERILS’ first insured market loss estimate is based on ultimate gross loss data reported to it by primary insurance companies but excludes any losses indemnified by government catastrophe insurance schemes, such as France’s ‘CatNat’.

As is typical with PERILS reporting schedule, it will provide an updated estimate of the insurance market loss from windstorm Dirk by the 23rd March 2014, three months after the event start date.

European Windstorm Dirk, maximum gust values in km/h

European Windstorm Dirk, maximum gust values in km/h - Source: PERILS AG

PERILS explained:

The Dirk depression formed over Newfoundland on 22 December 2013. It reached Western Europe on 23 December, where the first strong gusts were recorded in Ireland that afternoon. On Christmas Eve, the system reached its minimum pressure over land with a recorded 937mb at Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, off the north-west coast of Scotland.

This was the lowest recorded value in the British Isles since 1886. From there, the system slowly moved in a north-easterly direction towards northern Norway. Gradually the depression began to fill, before finally dissipating on 27 December.

The highest wind speeds occurred in the UK and in France where storm surge and heavy precipitation accompanying the storm led to localized flooding.

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