Summer storms cause HUF 2 bln damage to insurers

Weather

Hungarian insurance companies are likely to have to pay out up to HUF 2 billion due to damage caused by storms over the weekend, the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ) is warning.

By Monday, more than 5,000 clients had already turned to their insurance firms. The worst-affected regions include Budapest and its surroundings, the Lake Balaton area, Northern Hungary and the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld). Based on experiences from previous summer storms, MABISZ is expecting the number of claims to rise to 20,000 in the coming weeks.

Payouts by insurance companies reached similar levels in June, when damage was caused mostly by strong winds, torrential downpours, leakages, lightning and hailstorms, similarly to this past weekend. Insurers are asking their clients to report damage immediately and record it on their phone cameras in order to receive payments for smaller incidences of damage within days.

In this decade, the cumulative cost of damage due to summer season storms has reached HUF 83 billion, 2010 being the most disastrous year in the period with HUF 30 bln disbursed, according to MABISZ figures.

Most insurance companies are calling upon clients to review their contracts, especially after renovations, as although 72-73% of Hungarian apartments and houses have some insurance, in many cases homes remain underinsured.

Currently, 14 firms offer some form of home insurance, with basic packages starting from a couple of thousand forints a month, according to MABISZ. 

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