6 November 2013

European insurers will sustain wind losses

Non-life insurers in the UK and Western Europe remain on course to post strong overall performances in 2013, despite the windstorm of October 28. However, smaller, regionally focused German companies may incur underwriting losses for the year from an accumulation of natural catastrophes.

That is the view of AM Best in a report. The rating agency expects losses from the windstorm – known as St Jude in the UK and Christian, Carmen or Simone in Europe – are expected to be well within most insurers’ catastrophe budgets.

The windstorm hit countries including the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Baltic States of Latvia and Estonia, resulting in at least 15 deaths.

Based on the information received to date, the windstorm is not expected to result in changes to ratings or outlooks. For rated entities with catastrophe exposures, based on experience in the current year, aggregated catastrophe losses for this storm and other weather-related events remain well below 2013 budgets.

Willis Re has estimated insured losses from the windstorm will be between €800 million and €1.3 billion.

Dr John Alarcon, executive director at Willis Re, said: “While definitely not one of the largest windstorms to have ever affected Europe, it is the largest windstorm in Europe since the 2010 loss when Windstorm Xynthia cost the industry around €1.3 billion. This storm could potentially equal Xynthia in terms of insured loss, but is unlikely to exceed it.”

Intelligent Insurer
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