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Natural hazards

2022 natural hazards balance: At EUR 4.3 billion, an average claims year for insurers

Storms and heavy rain regularly caused severe damage to buildings and cars. The most severe damage in 2022 was caused by hurricanes in February.

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Storms, hail and heavy rain caused damage amounting to EUR 4.3 billion in the year just closed. "After the 2021 flood disaster, last year was again an average year for natural hazards: There were many insurance claims, though no extreme event like the Bernd flash flood", said Jörg Asmussen, Chief Executive Officer of the German Insurance Association. “2022 losses to homes, contents, businesses and motor vehicles are only marginally above the long-term average of EUR 4.2 billion".

The most severe damage was caused by hurricanes Ylenia, Zeynep and Antonia in February. "With a total of EUR 1.4 billion, this series of storms ranks third among the most severe winter storms since 2002", Asmussen said. The hurricanes caused EUR 1.25 billion in damage to homes, contents and businesses, as well as around 65,000 cases of damage to motor vehicles amounting to EUR 125 million.

"Prevention and adaptation to climate change are the key"

In 2022, property insurers will pay a total of three billion euro for storm and hail damage and a further EUR 400 million for damage caused by other natural hazards such as flooding due to heavy rain and high water. In motor vehicle insurance, this past year was slightly below the long-term average of EUR 1 billion, with an estimated 335,000 claims for natural hazards amounting to EUR 900 million. 

At EUR 12.6 billion, 2021 is so far the most expensive natural hazard year for insurers since statistics began in the 1970s. The devastating floods in July 2021 alone caused damage of EUR 8.5 billion, mainly in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. "Even though extreme rainfall failed to materialise this past year, prevention and adaptation to climate change are the key to ensuring that the costs of natural disasters, and thus also insurance premiums, do not get out of hand in the future", said Asmussen. "We insurers are appealing to policymakers to put this at the centre of their thinking".