European Insured Flood Losses Calculated at up to US$4.5bn

Extreme flooding in central and eastern Europe (CEE) in recent weeks will generate a claims burden of between US$3.5bn and US$4.5bn, according to reinsurer Swiss Re. The group calculates its own losses from the floods at around US$300m, with all figures net of retrocession and before tax.

The flooding affected large areas in the eastern part of Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. However, Swiss Re notes that effective local prevention measures spared many regions from larger losses. In Prague, for example, mobile flood barriers were erected, which saved most of the city from significant flooding.

“The flooding in central and eastern Europe has again caused hardship and loss to many communities and we send our sympathies to those affected,” said Michel Liès, Swiss Re’s group chief executive officer (CEO).  “Swiss Re will continue to work closely with our partners and clients to ensure that people receive the financial support they need to clean up and rebuild after this flood.”

Matthias Weber, Swiss Re’s group chief underwriting officer, added: “Thanks to timely prevention measures, large areas have been saved from the flooding. With the right prevention measures in place, insurers can offer more affordable coverage, which means that more people and businesses can benefit from insurance.”

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