Insured loss from European storm to reach up to $1.8 billion

Reuters

LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Insurers will have to pay out upto 1.3 billion euros ($1.75 billion) in claims after the stormthat swept through northern Europe in late October, brokerWillis Re estimates.

Northern Europe was battered by hurricane strength windsbetween October 27-29, with Britain, France, Belgium, theNetherlands, Denmark and Germany bearing the brunt of the damageto property.

Damage, adding up to an insured loss between 800 millioneuros and 1.3 billion euros, was caused mainly by falling trees,consisting largely of broken roof tiles and smashed windows,Willis Re said in a note on Monday.

Shore Capital Stockbrokers has said that insured losseswould have to reach at least 1 billion pounds ($1.59 billion)before they are likely to have any effect on profits at firmswith a large market share in home insurance, such as RSA or Direct Line.

Willis estimated losses to the insurance industry in the UKfrom the storm to be between 350 million euros and 590 millioneuros.

Estimated losses in Germany are expected to be between 250million euros and 400 million euros, while for Denmark thefigure could reach 325 million euros, Willis Re said.

By comparison, the Association of British Insurers has saidthat the storm that killed 18 people and felled millions oftrees in October 1987 caused insured losses of more than 2billion pounds in today's terms.

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