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RMS: European windstorm Niklas industry loss €750m to €1.5B


Risk modelling firm RMS has issued an insurance industry loss estimate for European windstorm Niklas, a late-season storm that struck northern Europe at the end of March causing significant damage across a number of countries, but with Germany taking the brunt.

The estimate from RMS puts the industry insured losses from windstorm Niklas in a range from €750m to €1.5 billion. This is aligned with the range of windstorm Niklas estimates from other risk modelling firms and brokers.

Insured losses in Germany are expected to account for approximately three-quarters of the figure, according to RMS, although the impact from Niklas was also felt across the UK, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland.

RMS’ estimate of insurance industry losses from Niklas includes damage to property, auto, forestry, agriculture, as well as direct business interruption, but excluding infrastructure impacts.

The estimate is based on a hazard reconstruction using RMS’ European windstorm model.

“RMS releases loss estimates only after we have gathered enough information to make an informed assessment,” commented Brian Owens, senior director, model product strategy at RMS. “By conducting thorough ground reconnaissance we feed valuable insight into detailed modeling analysis of the event to produce a reliable loss estimate for our clients.”

Separately German insurance trade group GDV (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V.) said today that it estimates the impact to German insurance companies at around €750m. So if we took RMS’ estimate that Germany took 75% of the loss, that would result in an industry impact of around €1 billion.

AIR Worldwide estimated an insurance industry loss in a range between €1 billion to €1.9 billion. Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting unit said that it expected the insurance industry impact from Niklas would be above US$1 billion (approx. $930m).

PERILS AG has placed European windstorm Niklas under investigation along with windstorm Mike, which occurred the day before. It’s likely that PERILS will report on the losses from Niklas, as it seems certain that the industry loss will be above its €300m threshold.

Currently, based on all of these estimates and their mid-points or range, the figures point towards an insurance industry loss in a range of €1.063 billion to €1.325 billion.

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