Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Fund Management

Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Reported insured losses from storm Ela’s wind and hail pass $2 billion


Wind and hail storm Ela, which struck Europe on June 9th and 10th affecting large areas of France, Germany and neighbouring countries, now looks to have caused at least $2 billion of insurance industry losses.

The German insurance industry association GDV said it had counted claims of nearly $900m (€650m) from the countries insurers, with large players like Allianz and the major reinsurers still to report their losses.

Now the French Federation of Insurance Companies has received 363,000 residential, automobile and business claims in France alone, which it forecasts will result in a loss of around $1.25 billion (€900m).

That takes the total insured loss to approximately $2.15 billion just from France and Germany to date. Windstorm Ela also impacted Belgium to a degree we understand, so there will be some additional insured losses to come there.

With the addition of the losses from Allianz, Germany’s largest insurer, as well as the large German reinsurers still to come, the total bill from hail and wind storm Ela could easily surpass $2.5 billion.

That is an expensive start to the summer storms for insurers and reinsurers in the region. As we wrote the other day there is also the potential for some impact to the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market through collateralized reinsurance layers on large programs.

Last years hail and floods in Germany resulted in some losses for ILS funds and it seems likely that some may have participated in the large European reinsurance programs again, making some loss likely. However, some ILS fund managers we have spoken with pulled back from these programs after getting hit by 2013’s losses, so it may not be as big a hit to collateralized covers as suffered a year ago.

Impact Forecasting, the risk modelling unit of broker Aon Benfield, said that economic losses from the storms are close to $3 billion.

Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting, commented; “For the second year running, hail-inducing thunderstorms have caused significant damage during the summer months in Europe. Given the recent level of losses for this peril, both in Europe and in the U.S., there is an increasing opportunity for the development of models to help insurers more accurately evaluate their exposures. With exponential advances in computing power, model developers will gradually be able to address the challenge of modelling this natural hazard at the high spatial resolution required to make the results meaningful.”

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