Windstorm Ciara / Sabine industry loss raised 4% to EUR 1.611bn

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The insurance and reinsurance market-wide loss related to the February 2020 European windstorm Ciara, also known as Sabine and Elsa, is now estimated to be around EUR 1.611 billion by PERILS AG, an increase of roughly 4% on its first report on the storm.

storm-wind-wavesBack in March PERILS estimated the impacts from European windstorm Ciara, as it was named in the UK, or windstorm Sabine in other parts of continental Europe, and Elsa in Norway, would be around EUR 1.551 billion.

But having been unable to survey insurance and reinsurance market participants for a scheduled update in May due to the coronavirus outbreak, PERILS has now completed its re-survey of the market and lifted its industry loss estimate by around 4%.

Storm Ciara / Sabine impacted parts of Ireland and the UK on Sunday, February 9th, before moving on to impact parts of Europe up to the 11th.

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

PERILS, the Zurich-based provider of catastrophe industry loss data, indices and services for the reinsurance industry, explained  that the windstorm caused most of its losses in Germany and was the largest European windstorm industry loss since Friederike (David) in January 2018.

Most of the insurance claims reported came from Germany, followed by the Benelux countries, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark.

The Republic of Ireland, despite having been hit by very strong winds, suffered comparably minor insurance losses, as was the case for Norway and Sweden, PERILS said.

Impacts were also seen as widely as in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Northern Italy, but these have not been included in the PERILS loss survey, meaning the actual industry-wide loss is likely somewhat higher.

Luzi Hitz, CEO of PERILS, commented, “Sabine was a significant windstorm event especially given its impact on so many countries over an extended period. We believe that being able to provide detailed information on the effects of a single event across multiple regions within one source report is extremely valuable to the insurance market. Further, by being able to combine the Sabine loss footprint with other European windstorm events captured in identical resolution in the PERILS database, it offers an accurate benchmark for validating catastrophe risk models for European extratropical cyclones.

“We are extremely grateful to our data providers for their continued support and remain committed to providing value in return in the form of reliable, factual data.”

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