Storm Ciara – Sabine insured losses up to EUR 1.9bn: AIR & Aon

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Insurance industry losses from last weekends European windstorm Ciara (also known as Sabine) could reach as high as between EUR 1.9 billion ($2 billion or slightly higher), according to analysis from AIR Worldwide and Aon.

storm-wind-wavesThat’s excluding losses from inland flooding events, which suggests the actual industry loss total could be higher.

Risk modeller AIR Worldwide pegs the insurance industry loss from storm Ciara – Sabine at between EUR 1.1 billion and EUR 1.9 billion, the top-end of which is around US $2.06 billion.

Meanwhile, insurance and reinsurance broking house Aon said that storm Ciara – Sabine could drive industry losses of above US $1 billion.

The majority of the industry loss from storm Ciara – Sabine will be seen in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, AIR Worldwide expects.

Windstorm Ciara as it was named in the UK, or windstorm Sabine in other parts of continental Europe,  struck parts of Ireland and the UK on Sunday, February 9th, before moving on to Europe.

The storm caused impacts in a wide area across France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway (where it was named storm Elsa), and other European countries.

Significant wind damage was seen, as well as widespread inland flooding especially in the UK.

Power outages affected 675,000 homes in the UK, 10,000 in Ireland and another 500,000 across Europe.

AIR said that it’s modelled estimate of insurance (perhaps reinsurance) industry losses includes insured wind damage to property (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and auto), including structures and their contents, as well as business interruption and additional living expenses.

However, AIR’s estimate does not include the inland flooding losses, which in the UK could be relatively significant in terms of adding a few hundred million dollars more, or factors including demand surge and additional living expenses.

Broking group Aon also said on storm Ciara – Sabine that, “Preliminary public estimates by insurers and industry groups tentatively placed the total insured loss into the hundreds of millions EUR; and possibly above EUR1 billion. The overall economic loss will be even higher.”

Once the insured property losses from wind damage are added to inland flooding losses, there is every chance the actual toll to the insurance and reinsurance market from storm Ciara – Sabine across Europe reaches closer to US $2 billion, it seems.

There is another severe storm (named Dennis or Uta) headed for northern Europe this weekend, so the European windstorm season does seem to have reverted to more normal levels of losses in recent weeks, although still far below more significant years that were seen a decade or more ago.

As we reported earlier this week, actuaries from Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK) told us that they expect the eventual property insurance market loss from windstorm Sabine’s impacts in Germany will cause an insured loss of around EUR 600 million.

At this time PERILS AG, the industry backed aggregator of catastrophe insured loss event data, does not even have storm Ciara – Sabine listed as under investigation. We assume that will change in due course, as it’s clear the storm will surpass its reporting threshold and require analysis.

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