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January storms cost European insurers $2.5 billion

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Storms that hit north and west Europe last month will cost insurers more than $US2 billion ($2.57 billion), Impact Forecasting says.

The Aon Benfield subsidiary’s monthly global catastrophe recap says Germany was among the worst-affected nations, with the nation’s insurance industry body declaring Storm Friederike the costliest windstorm since 2007.

Preliminary payouts from Friederike are about €1 billion ($1.58 billion).

“A meteorologically active January resulted in elevated windstorm losses in Europe,” Impact Forecasting Catastrophe Insight Analyst Michal Lorinc said.

“Windstorm-related economic and insured losses in Europe are already comparable to the annual totals recorded throughout [last year].”

There were no significant catastrophes in Australia last month, but flooding in New Zealand led to economic losses in the tens of millions of dollars.