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Windstorm Burglind (Eleanor) could cause EUR500m loss: Actuaries


European windstorm Burglind, or storm Eleanor as it was named in the United Kingdom, will probably cause an insurance and reinsurance industry-wide loss of around EUR 500 million, with EUR 200 million+ of losses expected for German insurers alone, according to actuarial firm Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK) .

Storm Burglind Eleanor damageThe storm struck Ireland and the United Kingdom yesterday, bringing 100 mile per hour winds as storm Eleanor, as it was known there, caused flooding and wind damage along its path.

European windstorm Burglind, as it is known in Germany and other regions, then struck northern Europe, impacting Germany, France and the Benelux countries, causing further damage with wind gusts still recorded at 90 miles per hour.

The actuaries at MSK estimate that windstorm (or extratropical cyclone) Burglind will result in around EUR 200 million of losses for insurers in Germany.

Heavy precipitation in particular had a damaging effect, both on buildings damaged by the wind and on softened soils in trees, and the rainfall and thaw caused by the rise in temperature are exacerbating the flood situation,” explained Onnen Siems, Managing Director of MSK.

In Germany, the saturated soil, thaw and already high river levels, meant that flooding became an issue as river levels rapidly rose.

The actuaries expect that windstorm Burglind could be a much larger loss though, perhaps the largest of the winter 2017/18 European storm season.

Windstorm Xavier in October is estimated to have caused an insurance and reinsurance loss of around EUR 291 million, while windstorm Herwart also in October is estimated to have hit the industry for around EUR 252 million of claims.

Windstorm Burglind is expected to be more costly to insurance and reinsurance interests, according to the actuaries at MSK.

The UK, France and the Benelux countries were affected so that the insured Europe-wide damage will amount to half a billion euros,” explained Onnen Siems.

It will be some time until a better picture of the extent of losses from windstorm Burglind are available, but it looks like this will be the largest storm loss of the European winter season so far.

Reinsurance broker Aon Benfield has been reported as estimating that storm Burglind could create an industry loss as high as EUR 300 million in Germany alone.

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