July European floods cause up to $7.7b in insured losses
Risk Management Solutions Inc, the catastrophe risk solutions company with a Bermuda office, has estimated that insured losses from the flooding in western and central Europe during July will likely range between $6 billion and $7.7 billion.
RMS said it reconstructed a flood hazard footprint that covers the worst affected areas, including western and southern Germany, eastern Belgium, eastern France and Luxembourg.
The estimates of total insured losses are in respect of those regions.
The company said Germany is the dominant contributor of loss to the event with about 70 per cent of the total loss, followed by Belgium with about 25 per cent of the loss.
RMS said the loss estimate was calculated through an analysis of the brand-new flood footprint functionality in the RMS Europe Inland Flood HD Models running on Risk Modeler. The new flood footprint functionality allows users to run the footprint on their own exposure to obtain a granular bespoke loss estimate.
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.
It excludes 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.
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.”
RMS said a stationary low-pressure system, named Bernd by the Berlin Institute of Meteorology, triggered intense rainfalls over Western and Central Europe, as well as swathes of severe convective storms leading to widespread and record-breaking flooding. Affected countries include Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria.
The flooding occurred between July 12 and 18.
RMS helps insurers, financial markets, corporations, and public agencies evaluate and manage global risk from natural and man-made catastrophes, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, climate change, cyber, and pandemics.
The company said it helped pioneer the catastrophe risk industry and continues to lead in innovation by marrying data and advanced model science with leading-edge SaaS technology. Leaders across multiple industries can address the risks of tomorrow with RMS Risk Intelligence, its open, unified cloud platform for global risk, enabling them to tap into RMS HD models, rich data layers, intuitive applications, and APIs.
Further supporting the industry's transition to modern risk management, RMS said it spearheaded the Risk Data Open Standard, a new modern open standard data schema designed to be an extensile, flexible, and future-proof asset within modelling/analysis systems.
RMS is headquartered in Newark California, and has 14 offices worldwide, including in Bermuda, United Kingdom, Switzerland, India, China, Japan, and across the United States.
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