PERILS updated insurance loss for Windstorm Ciarán (Emir) in Europe

PERILS has updated its insurance loss estimate for Windstorm Ciarán (also known as Emir) that impacted parts of Europe on 1-2 November 2023.

The revised estimate is EUR 1,937 million, a slight increase from the initial EUR 1,889 million. This storm notably affected France, the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands, with the most significant damages reported in France.

This estimate compares to the initial loss estimate of EUR 1,889 million which was issued by PERILS on 15 December 2023, six weeks after the event end date.

In line with the PERILS coverage definition for Europe, the loss numbers cover the property line of business. The majority of the losses occurred in France, followed by the United Kingdom and Belgium.

PERILS updated insurance loss for Windstorm Ciarán (Emir) in Europe

PERILS’ analysis, based on detailed claims data, provides a breakdown of property losses by region and will release a further detailed report by May 2024. The extreme winds during the storm reached speeds not seen in some areas since notable historical storms, underscoring the significant impact on affected regions.

The loss information in this third report will be provided in the form of an industry loss footprint with losses broken down by CRESTA Zone and Property line of business.

Windstorm Ciarán was characterised by a narrow band of extreme winds over the English Channel which extended to the north and especially to the south of the Channel. They impacted northern France, southern England, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

In France, wind speeds reached levels not seen since the Great Storm of 1987, with a gust of 207 km/h measured at the Pointe du Raz promontory in Brittany.

Similarly, extreme wind speeds were reported over Normandy and the Channel Islands. In France, industry losses reached a level not seen from a windstorm since Windstorm Klaus in 2009.

Extratropical windstorm Ciarán (Emir), maximum gust values in km/h

PERILS updated insurance loss for Windstorm Ciarán (Emir) in Europe
From 1 to 2 November 2023, Windstorm Ciarán (Emir) affected France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands with damaging wind gusts. Based on loss data collected from affected insurance companies, PERILS’ second estimate of the insured market loss from the storm is EUR 1,937 million.

However, the industry loss levels experienced in the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands were not unusual for an event of this kind.

PERILS confirmed that Windstorm Zoltan (aka Pia), which affected the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria on 21 to 23 December 2023, did not result in an industry loss exceeding the PERILS capturing trigger of EUR 300m for anyone country and EUR 500m Europe-wide.

PERILS industry loss estimates provided via the PERILS Industry Loss Index Service can be used as triggers in insurance risk transactions such as industry loss warranty contracts (ILW) or insurance-linked securities (ILS).

Windstorm Ciarán (also referred to as Emir) was a significant weather event that affected several European countries including France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands from November 1 to 2, 2023.

Characterized by a narrow band of extreme winds, it notably impacted northern France and southern England, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

PERILS updated insurance loss for Windstorm Ciarán (Emir) in Europe

Storm Ciarán was named by the United Kingdom’s Met Office on 29 October, while the Free University of Berlin in Germany named the system Emir on 30 October.

It was expected to bring winds of 90 to 120 km/h (60 to 70 mph) widely with >130 km/h (>80 mph) on some coasts. More heavy rainfall was expected to fall which would exacerbate the flooding from Storm Babet a week prior.

The Met Office’s long-range forecast stated that Storm Ciarán would move away on 3 November, with many places still with blistering winds and rain spells. The Channel Islands were due to be hit with gusts around 95 mph (153 km/h) with schools closed and a red weather warning in place. On 1 November, this was updated to a Force 11 violent storm, with the Met Office stating that Storm Ciarán was undergoing explosive cyclogenesis.

The storm would impact the Netherlands on 2 November. The storm especially affected the Isle of Jersey, where a strong thunderstorm formed a tornado alongside the golf ball sized hail with windspeeds of the storm reaching over 100 mph (160 km/h).

Nataly Kramer   by Nataly Kramer