PERILS investigates four more European storms and UK floods

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The unprecedented winter weather affecting northern Europe has continued in recent weeks, as a result of which PERILS AG has added four more European windstorms and the recent severe UK floods to its list of events under investigation this winter.

Zurich based independent provider of industry-wide European catastrophe insurance loss data and indices to reinsurers and ILS specialists, PERILS AG, reports on European catastrophe events such as wind storms and flooding. Its reports are used for analysis and within reinsurance contract or capital markets transaction triggers.

PERILS had already placed 9 European windstorms under investigation this winter, but now that number has been lifted to 13 with four new windstorms from late January and February deserving further investigation. The recent and continuing UK flood event has also been placed under investigation by PERILS, which will be useful as to date reporting on losses from the floods has been a little speculative.

For a catastrophe event to be designated as ‘under investigation’ by PERILS it must have the potential to result in a market-wide insured industry property loss exceeding €200m. Therefore PERILS feels it deserves further analysis and makes an initial investigation of its potential to cause a sufficiently large insurance industry loss as the first step in its process.

A number of the European windstorms this winter season have qualified for further investigation and PERILS is now providing industry loss updates on October’s windstorm Christian, December’s windstorm Xaver and windstorm Dirk. A number of the other storms investigated have now been designated as non-qualifying.

The UK flooding, which comprises a number of periods in January and February but has actually reached its most damaging and loss causing point only this week will be an interesting estimate to watch as it is the first flood event which is likely to qualify for further reporting from PERILS since it added UK flood as a catastrophe event it covers.

The latest estimates from various experts suggest that the UK flooding could result in insurance losses of around £1 billion, but with flood waters still rising any estimate at this stage could be too low, we’ll have to wait and see.

All of the events investigated by PERILS this winter season are listed below, with their current status of investigation and latest industry loss estimate where available.

This list may well grow, as European windstorm Tini which impacted the UK, Ireland and northern France only yesterday could become another investigated storm. There is also some time to run in the windstorm season and currently no sign of any let up in the European winter weather which is being thrown across the Atlantic by the jetstream, with yet another storm (Ulla) forecast to hit the UK and surrounding area on Friday and Saturday.

Event nameEvent start datePerilStatusEstimate
UK FloodsVarious – Jan/Feb 2014FloodUnder investigation
Ruth08 Feb 2014WindstormUnder Investigation
Qumaira06 Feb 2014WindstormUnder Investigation
Petra04 Feb 2014WindstormUnder Investigation
Nadja31 Jan 2014WindstormUnder Investigation
Christina05 Jan 2014WindstormNon-qualifying
Anne02 Jan 2014WindstormNon-qualifying
Gerhard01 Jan 2014WindstormNon-qualifying
Felix30 Dec 2013WindstormNon-qualifying
Erich26 Dec 2013WindstormNon-qualifying
Dirk23 Dec 2013WindstormQualifying€275 million
Bernd18 Dec 2013WindstormNon-qualifying
Xaver05 Dec 2013WindstormQualifying€680 million
Christian27 Oct 2013WindstormQualifying€1.068 billion
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