The General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) has reported that damage caused by extreme weather events in the country, such as floods and storms in 2023 total €4.9 billion.
Jörg Asmussen, General Manager of the GDV, commented: “The insured damage to houses, household goods, businesses and motor vehicles is expected to have increased by 900 million euros to 4.9 billion euros in 2023 compared to the previous year.”
Adding: “Unfortunately, they are pretty stable at the high level of the long-term average of 4.9 billion euros.”
According to the GDV, property insurance accounted for damages amounting to €3.6 billion : €2.7 billion for damage caused by storms and hail, and €900 million for other natural hazards such as floods as a result of heavy rain.
As for motor insurers, 2023 was above average with around 465,000 claims totaling €1.3 billion.
Reflecting on the year, there was largely no major damage caused from winter and autumn storms, however, things were very different in the summer.
August alone, witnessed severe storms that winded up causing insured damages that amounted to €1.5 billion, almost a third of the total damage.
At the same time, property insurers were affected by €950 million and motor vehicle insurers by €550 million.
GDV noted that the storms “Kay” and “Lambert” had already caused severe damage amounting to €740 million in June. From this figure, €390 million went to property insurance and the remaining €350 million went towards motor insurers.
Moreover, it is important to remember, that with natural hazard insurance, property owners can insure themselves against other natural hazards, such as flooding as a result of heavy rain.
“Many property owners are unaware of the natural hazards that threaten their homes. They therefore forego this existential security, even though sufficient insurance cover is offered,” added Asmussen.
However, GDV warned that this insurance coverage could become more expensive in the future as a result of climate change and a lack of adaptation to climate impacts.
“In many places, things are being planned and built as if climate change and its consequences didn’t exist,” said Asmussen.
“We therefore need adaptation to climate change to be anchored in building regulations, less surface sealing and building bans in flood areas.”
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