Zurich-based PERILS AG, provider of industry-wide European catastrophe insurance exposure, industry loss data and indices widely used by insurance-linked securities issuers, has released an initial loss estimate for December’s European windstorm Xaver.
Windstorm Xaver struck Western and Northern Europe on the 5th and 6th December 2013, one of a number of storms to affect the continent in what is the most active European windstorm season since 1990. Xaver was also known as Sinterklaasstorm in the Netherlands, Bodil in Denmark and Sven in Sweden.
PERILS’ initial estimate for insured property market losses caused by European windstorm Xaver is €680m (approximately $925m or £565m). The bulk of these losses occurred in the countries worst affected by Xaver, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.
The estimate from PERILS, which is its first and based on initial data received so is subject to potential increases as more claims are filed, is based on the ultimate gross loss data reported to it by primary insurance companies and excludes any losses indemnified by government schemes.
Windstorm Xaver formed in the Atlantic to the west of Iceland on the 4th December 2013 and quickly moved south-eastward towards the British Isles, intensifying as it moved. The highest winds recorded from Xaver occurred to the south of the low pressure system.
The strongest winds impacted northern parts of the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, as well as Denmark and the southern parts of Norway and Sweden. Strong winds were accompanied by a storm surge which was particularly severe as the timing of the storm was close to that of high tides caused by the new moon phase on 3rd December 2013.
In line with its normal reporting schedule, PERILS will make available its next update on the insured loss from European windstorm Xaver by the 5th March 2014, three months after the windstorms first impact.
Windstorm Xaver is yet another storm causing losses in Europe which has the potential to erode any aggregate reinsurance layers further. With PERILS having more storms to investigate the toll from the European windstorm season is mounting.