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German flood losses estimate rises to $11 billion

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The German Insurance Association (GDV) has raised its estimate for the July flooding catastrophe to around €7 billion ($11.3 billion), up from €4-5 billion ($6.4-8.1 billion) previously.

CEO Jorg Asmussen says the extent of the damage is becoming increasingly clear as claims are recorded and settled.

About €6.5 billion ($10.5 billion) in insurance and reinsurance losses are attributed to residential buildings, household effects and businesses, with about €450 million ($725 million) relating to motor vehicles.

Insurers are assuming the floods will lead to around 250,000 claims, with 200,000 of those from houses, household effects and businesses.

The low pressure system, which was known as Bernd, brought significant flooding to much of Europe from July 13-18, particularly hitting the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate regions. It also affected Bavaria and Saxony.

Mr Asmussen says this year is likely to be one of the country’s most expensive for natural hazard insurance losses, given impacts from the flooding and hail damage in early summer.

The July event has topped the flooding losses in August 2002, which reached €4.5 billion ($7.3 billion).

Nationwide, nearly all residential buildings are covered for windstorm and hail, but only 46% of homeowners have protection against other natural hazards such as heavy rain and floods.