Severe convective storms in Europe anticipated to generate millions in losses: Aon

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The recent outbreaks of severe convective storms in Europe are likely to result in hundreds of millions of Euros in aggregated economic and insured losses, according to Aon’s Weekly Cat Report.

aon-logo-londonMultiday storms affected a number of countries in Western and Central Europe on July 6-13. They generated very large hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall, which resulted in notable
damage on property, vehicles, and crops across the region.

On July 6-7 large hail hit north-eastern Spain, particularly in the regions of Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarra. Another distinct hail swath stretched further south through central Aragon.

This included large individual losses; for example, large hail hit Vitoria-Gasteiz in Basque Country and damaged approximately 1,000 vans in a car manufacturing plant in the city.

Additionally, 11 people were injured by the hail in the area. Notable insured loss was also expected on agriculture; Agroseguro noted that damage occurred on more than 30,000 ha (74,000 acres).

Furthermore, severe urban flash flooding occurred in the city of Zaragoza as a result of an intense rainfall episode that hit the city and generated more than 50 mm (2 inches) in less than 1 hour.

It caused tens of millions of Euros in flood-related damage. The National Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS) estimated that the event will generate approximately 4,500 claims and total losses of €30 million ($33 million), with the majority related to residential property.

Primary hazard associated with the storms in southwestern France on July 7 was strong wind.

Then, on July 9-10, storm activity was primarily located in France, Germany and the Czech Republic, with relatively minor impacts from larger hail and strong winds.

Extreme thunderstorm risk developed in parts of Europe on July 11-13. They generated notable property and motor damage along with downed trees and power lines across multiple countries mainly during this period.

The highest-level warning was also issued by the ESTOFEX (European Storm Forecast Experiment) for every single day of this period, as a pronounced pressure gradient developed between a deep low over the United Kingdom and a ridge of high pressure over the western part of the Mediterranean.

Progressing cold front associated with a low-pressure system name Ronson then moved eastward through central France to Central Europe and thunderstorms developed in an environment supplied with warm and humid air mass brought from the southwest.

The most noteworthy, large-scale storm system of this period affected south-eastern France, where gusts toppled powerlines and caused power outages to thousands of customers. Widespread property and motor damage was incurred due to large hail.

Material damage was also incurred in southern Germany, notably in the federal states of BadenWürttemberg, Bavaria, and Saarland. Most of the impacts were related to extremely strong winds as a result of the progressing mesoscale convective system.

In Austria, thousands of customer experienced power outages across the country. According to the Austrian hail insurance company, recent storms caused notable damage on more than 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres) of crops across Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria, and Burgenland.

According to Aon, agricultural losses were initially estimated to be in the amount of more than €2.5 million ($2.8 million).

The storm activity continued July 12 further south and east, as a cold front tracked slowly south-eastward. Largest hail up to 8 cm (3.1) in diameter were reported in the Rhône-Alpes Region, and in Piemonte Region, northern Italy.

Additionally, a large number of hail reports came from central Switzerland. Additional impacts related to large hail and strong winds continued into July 13, most notably in Slovenia, Croatia, northern Serbia, Romania and western Hungary. With a large hailstone hitting Slovenia.

Aon stated: “The recent outbreaks of severe convective storm weather in several countries in Europe are likely to result in substantial economic and insured losses.

“Several large hailstorms, which hit multiple population centres, along with notable impacts from strong winds as well as heavy rainfall, were initially anticipated to minimally generate tens of thousands of claims and losses in hundreds of millions EUR.”

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