Insured losses from Europe floods could reach £5.6bn – RMS

Insured losses from the Western and Central Europe flooding between 12th and 18th July will likely range between £4.3bn and £5.6bn, according to RMS.

RMS reconstructed a flood hazard footprint that covers the worst affected areas, including western and southern Germany, eastern Belgium, eastern France and Luxembourg.

Germany is the dominant contributor of loss to the event with about 70% of the total loss, followed by Belgium with about 25%.

Daniel Bernet, product manager, Europe Flood Models, RMS said: “In terms of loss, this event is expected to be comparable to the costliest European flood events in recent history, the Central and Eastern Europe floods of 2002 and 2013. However, unlike the 2002 and 2013 events during which overtopping and breaching of major rivers contributed substantially to overall damages, the 2021 event occurred in a different region and was characterised with much steeper and faster flood waves with higher flow velocities in smaller rivers and tributaries that caused substantial structural damage, and regretfully, an unusually high number of fatalities.”

The loss estimate includes insured property and business interruption loss to residential, commercial, industrial, automobile and infrastructure lines and accounts for the potential of post-event loss amplification and extended business interruption.

The figures exclude losses observed in the Netherlands, which sits outside of the model domain, and losses in Switzerland, Bavaria and Saxony in Germany, and Austria, which were caused outside the time window of the heaviest rainfall.

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