The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Insurer: Total damage from European floods over $16 billion, costliest disaster in 1st half

  • Print

BERLIN - Last month's flooding in central Europe caused more than $16 billion in damage, about a quarter of it insured — making it the year's costliest natural disaster so far, a leading insurance company said Tuesday.

Natural disasters worldwide cost the insurance industry a total of about $13 billion in the January-June period, while the overall cost of disasters was some $45 billion, Munich Re AG said in a regular review of disaster costs.

Both figures were well below the average for the past decade.

Munich Re put insured losses from the flooding caused by the Elbe, Danube and several other rivers overflowing their banks at some $3.9 billion or more — most of them in Germany, but also in the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

That is a little higher than the $3.4 billion cost to insurers of floods that hit many of the same areas in 2002. The overall cost of those floods, including uninsured damage, was $16.5 billion.

The German government has set up an 8 billion-euro ($10.3 billion) fund to pay for repairs. The flooding doesn't appear likely to throw the country's economy off course, since it didn't hit major industrial areas.

"Politicians should not only set up emergency funds after catastrophes but should act with greater foresight, engaging in prudent supraregional flood control, which should ideally be co-ordinated across national borders," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said in a statement.

A series of tornadoes in Oklahoma — including the tornado that killed 24 people in Moore on May 20 — were the second-costliest disaster for insurers in the first six months of the year. They caused insured losses of nearly $1.6 billion, while overall losses totalled $3.1 billion, Munich Re said.

April's earthquake in China's Sichuan province caused $6.8 billion worth of damage but only a fraction of that — $25 million — was insured, the company said. Flooding last month in the Canadian province of Alberta caused damage initially estimated at more than $3 billion, with insured losses likely to top $1 billion.

For the whole of last year, Munich Re has said, natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion — with Superstorm Sandy in the U.S. accounting for $25 billion. It put total disaster costs at $160 billion.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the city grant mosquito buffer zones for medical reasons only?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google