Are you sure?

Storm caused as much as €5 bln in insured losses

Insurers such as Allianz SE and Axa SA may face claims of between €3 bln ($3.9 billion) and €5 bln from the winter storm that battered Europe for two days last week, according to Risk Management Solutions Inc.

„Kyrill caused damage over a broader area and was more intense than windstorm Jeannette in 2002,” RMS, a US risk-modeler, said in an e-mailed statement today, citing an initial estimate. Kyrill, with hurricane-force winds, swept across a swath of Europe from the British Isles to France, Germany and the Czech Republic last week. It killed at least 41 people, uprooted trees, damaged buildings and disrupted European train and airline travel. „The windspeeds caused by Kyrill can not be ranked alongside the major 1999 Windstorms, Lothar, Anatol and Martin,” said Barbara Page, lead model manager for European windstorm modeling at RMS, in the statement.

Separately, Fitch Ratings today said it expects Kyrill to have a limited impact on European insurers\' credit ratings „as expected claims are not material enough to threaten the sector\'s overall financial strength.” In Germany, public insurers represent four of the top five property insurers alongside Allianz, and are therefore expected to see a „relatively more significant impact,” Fitch added. So far, the most expensive winter storm that battered Europe was Lothar, which caused insured costs of €4.54 billion ($5.9 billion) in 1999 and mostly affected Germany and France, according to estimates by Munich Re. (Bloomberg)