Losses caused by August severe storms in Germany reach up to EUR 900 mn

Losses caused by end of August severe storms in Germany are expected to reach up to EUR 900 mn, the German Insurance Association (GDV) said, while for the whole of August, the damage caused by storms, hail, lightning and floods adds up to EUR 1.5 bn.

The above figures include damage to houses, household goods, commercial and industrial enterprises of more than EUR 550 mn for the series of storms at the end of August and EUR 950 mn for the entire month. Motor insurance losses amounted to EUR 350 mn and EUR 550 mn respectively.

Storms with storms and hail caused severe damage from 24 to 30 August, especially in Bavaria. The low “Denis” had its focus in the southern Bavarian towns of Bad Bayersoien and Benediktbeuern. Unusually large hail with a diameter of up to ten centimeters fell there on 26 August.

For the first half of 2023, the GDV recently reported insured natural hazard losses of EUR 1.9 billion, below the average of recent years.

Joerg Asmussen, GDV’s Managing Director

We have to adapt to the consequences of climate change with more and more weather extremes. The adaptation of building law, less land sealing and a construction freeze in flood plains must be implemented quickly

Joerg Asmussen, GDV’s Managing Director

For 2022 as a whole, claims expenses amounted to EUR 4.3 billion, slightly above the long-term average of EUR 4.2 billion.

German insurers are appealing to politicians not to neglect prevention and adaptation to the effects of climate change.

August severe storms in Germany reach up to EUR 900 mn losses

With severe thunderstorms as the main driver for above-average insured losses in the first half of 2023, this secondary peril becomes one of the dominant global drivers of insured losses. The above‑average losses reaffirm a 5 – 7% annual growth trend in insured losses, driven by a warming climate but even more so, by rapidly growing economic values in urbanized settings, globally.

Jérôme Jean Haegeli, Swiss Re's Group Chief Economist

The effects of climate change can already be seen in certain perils like heatwaves, droughts, floods and extreme precipitation.

Jérôme Jean Haegeli, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Economist

The effects of climate change are evident in increasingly extreme weather events. Besides the impact of climate change, land use planning in more exposed coastal and riverine areas, and urban sprawl into the wilderness, generate a hard-to-revert combination of high value exposure in higher risk environments.

Protective measures need to be taken for insurance products to remain economical for such properties at high risk. It is high time to invest in more climate adaption.

Yana Keller   by Yana Keller