Windstorms will be costly


According to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap report from Aon Benfield, Impact Forecasting’s catastrophe model development team, the January windstorms that hit Western and Central Europe will cost insurers in the region more than US$2 billion. The most significant of these storms was Windstorm Friederike, which hit Germany, Belgium, France, the UK and the Netherlands with heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds and killed at least 13 people. It was the costliest windstorm to hit Germany since 2007, according to the German Insurance Association; preliminary payouts in Germany alone are listed at around $1.24 billion, while additional payouts of more than $125 million have been reported by separate regional insurance groups. “A meteorologically active January resulted in elevated windstorm losses in Europe,” said Michal Lörinc, an analyst with Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight team. “When looking at the combined effect of storms Friederike, Eleanor and Carmen, windstorm-related economic and insured losses in Europe are already comparable to the annual totals recorded throughout 2017. The busy stretch of storms allowed Impact Forecasting to deploy its European windstorm model and help clients better capture the expected loss impact from each event in real time.”