UK winter floods & storms cost re/insurers more than $1bn: PERILS

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The insurance and potentially reinsurance market loss from flooding that struck the United Kingdom this February is now estimated to have caused an industry loss of UK £375 million, up 26% from an estimate made in April.

flood-signDetailed claims data collected from insurers shows that the toll to the industry from severe flooding that struck the UK between February 9th and 29th 2020 has cost close to US $500 million.

PERILS AG, the Zurich-based provider of estimates for insurance and reinsurance market property losses, raised the figure today and provided its loss footprint data to clients.

The flooding accounted for in this loss estimate began with named European windstorms Ciara (Sabine) and continued with windstorms Dennis and Jorge as well.

However, the UK’s winter 2020 flood experience actually began in November 2019, when large areas of northern England flooded. It continued into early 2020 as well, with flood incidents seen in December and January, before the peak of the winter floods began with storm Ciara in early February.

The UK flooding during the period covered by PERILS loss estimate largely affected northern England, Wales, and to a lesser extent Northern Ireland and Scotland.

As a result, this estimate covers a period when the ground was already saturated thanks to a very wet winter in the UK and the previous flood incidents that affected the country.

It was estimated that at least 4,800 properties were damaged by the February UK floods. However flood defences saved the damage from being much more widespread, which could have driven a significantly larger insurance and reinsurance market loss.

PERILS has also provided a broader estimate for UK winter storm and flood losses suffered in the 2019/20 season, which includes the floods in November and December 2019, windstorms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge in February 2020, and this February flood estimate as well.

The total cost of this UK winter weather to the insurance and reinsurance sector is estimated by PERILS to be around UK £775 million, or just over US $1 billion.

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