Tags: Europe | hail | storms | damage

Europe's Hail Storms Hit Insurers With $4.7 Billion Bill

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 06:21 AM

Insurers nursing hefty losses from severe spring floods in Europe face paying out a similar amount again after areas of Germany and France were repeatedly pounded by grapefruit-sized hail stones over the summer.

Analysis from the reinsurance arm of broker Willis estimates the insured loss from a run of hail storms to hit central Europe between June 17 and Aug. 6 at around 3.5 billion euros ($4.72 billion).

The insurance industry was hit earlier in the year by insured losses estimated at between 3 billion euros and 4 billion euros from flooding in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic following weeks of torrential rain in May and June.

According to Willis, a series of storms caused by a meeting of cold Atlantic air with hot and humid weather sitting over central Europe during the summer led to the subsequent "severe hailstorm activity" in France and Germany.

Dirk Spenner, managing director at Willis Re said the size of the insured loss reflects both the extreme size of the hail stones and the affluence of the areas affected.

"The hail storms hit a number of affluent areas, and so the property that they damaged such as cars and housing was worth a considerable amount of money," he said.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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