Floods in Europe: $16 Billion in Losses

Last month’s flooding in central Europe caused more than $16 BILLION in damage and only about a quarter of it was insured, making it the year’s costliest natural disaster so far.

Credit: raymond_zoller via Flickr

Credit: raymond_zoller via Flickr

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. 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.

Credit: MuntyPix via Flickr

Credit: MuntyPix via Flickr

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. 

Credit: WorldIslandInfo.com via Flickr

Credit: WorldIslandInfo.com via Flickr

A series of tornadoes in Oklahoma – including one 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 totaled $3.1 billion, Munich Re said.

Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

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.

Credit: treasuresthouhast via Flickr

Credit: treasuresthouhast via Flickr

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.

Credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region via Flickr

Credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via Flickr

Read more - Based on article written by Geir Moulson, The Associated Press - Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

If you are in an area experiencing heavy rainfall and expect flooding, please read Stay Above Water: Flood Safety 101 and Know Before™.

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This entry was posted in Flooding, Weather Stats.