High losses due to forces of nature in germany

High losses due to forces of nature in germany

Damage amounting to around seven billion euros was caused by storms, hail and floods in Germany alone in 2013. Experts fear that it could get even worse.

Many Germans had to experience how quickly a so-called flood of the century (2002 and 2013) can repeat itself. The damage adds up to several billion euros. For customers, however, it is particularly important that the damage remains insurable in principle, explained the German Insurance Association (GDV) recently when it presented its first loss report for 2013.

Last year, insurers paid out almost seven billion euros to customers for the consequences of natural forces, according to estimates to date, recently explained the German Insurance Association e.V. (GDV).

"The accumulation of various weather extremes within a few months made 2013 an exceptional year", noted GDV President Alexander Erdland. He says it has been an enormous challenge to quickly settle more than two million claims in a matter of months. "The insurers have solved it reliably", Erdland further emphasized.

Hailstorms caused greater damage than the June floods

According to GDV data, property insurers – insurers that offer home and building insurance, for example – had to pay claims of about 5.5 billion euros, and motor insurers had to pay claims of about 1.5 billion euros.

The June flood alone cost property insurers about 1.8 billion euros. During the hailstorms in the summer and early fall, the damage was even significantly higher at around 3.1 billion euros.

The hurricane Christian caused damages of 300 to 400 million euros at the end of October. Then, in early December, hurricane Xaver raged through the country. Here a regulation volume of 100 to 200 million euro developed.

Storm and hail losses likely to increase particularly strongly

Despite the high losses, 2013 was not an exceptional year, Erdland continued. There had been comparable claims in 1990 (winter storms Vivian and Wiebke) and 2002 (Elbe floods and winter storm Jeanette).

According to studies by insurers and climate researchers, hail damage is expected to increase by 60 percent by 2050 and storm damage by 50 percent by 2100. Flood damage could actually double by the end of the century.

Thus, in 2013, according to the experts, there will not have been the last flood of the century. GDV's estimate of seven billion euros in expenditures represents a quarter of the insured natural disasters that occurred worldwide in 2013.

Individual insurance for belongings

If one is affected by a natural disaster such as hail or flooding, it is important for individuals to have the appropriate insurance coverage in order to be protected from the high financial burdens that damage repair can entail. The insurance industry offers property insurance policies tailored to the respective needs.

Storm damage caused by hail, lightning and storms to the car can be covered, for example, by partial cover insurance. Homeowners who want to be covered against damage to the property caused by fire, lightning, storm and hail need a building insurance policy. The same risks are insured in a home contents policy to protect household goods or in a business contents policy to protect company inventory.

While fire, storm and hail damage are usually covered in a buildings, contents or even business contents policy, potential natural disasters such as flood, snow load, avalanches, landslides or earthquakes are often not covered. However, most of these hazards can also be included in an existing property insurance policy as part of a natural hazard insurance policy for a small surcharge. A fisherman& Fischer insurance expert helps to find the individually necessary insurance coverage.

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