Zurich-based catastrophe insurance data provider PERILS has disclosed an initial industry loss estimate of €509 million for the Babet-Aline floods and storms over the British Isles and northwestern Europe in October 2023.
In line with the PERILS coverage definition for Europe, this loss number covers the property line of business. The majority of the industry losses – GBP 329 million – occurred in the UK.
Luzi Hitz, Product Manager at PERILS, commented, “Storm Babet brought record rainfalls across eastern Scotland and record storm surge levels along the Baltic coastlines of Denmark and Germany.
“These extreme conditions resulted primarily from the easterly wind direction and Babet’s unusual storm track, extending from Portugal over the Bay of Biscay to the UK, with unseasonably warm air crossing unseasonably warm seas leading to increased moisture content and extreme rainfall over the British Isles.
“It is increasingly likely that in a warming climate, such unusual weather phenomena will become more common.”
As mentioned, the majority of the industry loss occurred in the UK, carried by flood losses, with limited wind-related losses. Similarly, flood was the dominant loss component in Ireland.
“In Germany, where flood and storm surge insurance is optional and therefore the insurance penetration is lower, wind damage is widely included as a standard component of property policies,” PERILS said.
The firm continued, “As a result, flood and wind losses were roughly equal. In Denmark, however, flood and storm surge losses are covered by the “Naturskaderådet” government scheme and therefore only wind-related losses are covered by the insurance industry.
“Despite this complex coverage landscape, as the clear majority of the Aline-Babet industry loss is related to flood damage, PERILS has classified it as a flood event.”
In November, PwC UK released similar loss estimates to that of PERILS, anticipating insurance losses from Storm Babet to range between £450 – £650 million.
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