Storm ZOLTAN €200m insured damage “not likely” to burden reinsurers: MSK

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Storm ZOLTAN is expected to result in insured property damage totalling €200 million, bringing insured losses from natural hazards for 2023 in Germany to almost €4 billion, according to Onnen Siems, Managing Director of actuarial consultancy firm Meyerthole Siems Kohlruss (MSK).

germany-flagStorm ZOLTAN, which hit Germany last week, reportedly caused property damage due to flooding, fallen trees, and the direct impact of wind.

According to MSK, ZOLTAN is the first nationwide storm to cause damage in 2023, however, the losses incurred are “nothing out of the ordinary” for the insurance industry.

“At €200 million, they are at a level that insurers pay out almost every year for a winter storm event, Siems explained.

“The insured damage is a far cry from ZEYNEP, for example, which caused costs of around €1 billion in 2022,” He added.

Andreas Kelb, Strategy Consultant at MSK, added, “Reinsurers are not likely to be burdened by ZOLTAN. Building insurers generally bear a loss burden in the deductible – especially in light of the fact that the priorities (event-related deductibles of insurers) in the so-called excess of loss were significantly adjusted upwards in the last renewal.

“The situation can be different with stop loss treaties, where all cat losses in a year are accumulated. In individual cases, there will certainly be burdens for reinsurers in this segment.”

Prof. Stephanie Fiedler, who advises MSK on meteorological issues, said, “Even though ZOLTAN was not a hurricane, storm damage was reported nationwide, which led to considerable disruption to rail traffic and numerous fire brigade deployments just before the Christmas holidays.”

Including storm ZOLTAN, insured losses from natural hazards for 2023 as a whole are likely to total almost €4 billion in Germany. Siems concluded that this corresponds to a claims burden that is only slightly below average.

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