BUSINESS German insurers pay out 1.3 bln euros for natural hazard losses in H1 2019

BUSINESS

German insurers pay out 1.3 bln euros for natural hazard losses in H1 2019

Xinhua

19:48, August 26, 2019

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File photo: CGTN

BERLIN, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- In the first half of 2019, storms, hail, lightning and heavy rain caused insurance losses of 1.3 billion euros (1.45 billion US dollars), the German Insurance Association (GDV) announced on Monday.

The majority of the loss amount was based on damage to residential buildings which had cost German insurers 730 million euros compared to the long-term average of 800 million euros. 

"The storm series and the hail at Whitsun have shown again, a few events can cause high damage in a short time," said Bernhard Gause, member of the GDV management board. 

In the first half of 2019, storm and hail damage to houses accounted for the largest share of the damage costs at 660 million euros, the German insurers noted.

"The two March storms Dragi and Eberhard alone accounted for a good around 300 million euros" in damage, according to the German Insurance Association.

"Particularly in southern Germany, hailstones had caused a lot of dents and glass breakage," the German Insurance Association noted. 

Cars in Germany had suffered somewhat more than usual this year from so-called natural hazard losses, with the losses lying 10 percent above the long-term average, the GDV stated. 

Meanwhile, the damage caused by "extended natural hazards" of heavy rain, flooding and earth hazards to vehicles and residential buildings in Germany was below the half-year average of 140 million euros, the GDV said.

By June 2019, German insurers had only paid out around 70 million euros for these extended natural hazards, although the GDV noted that in contrast to storm and hail, more than half of German homeowners were still not insured against extended natural hazards.

This meant that "the actual damage caused by heavy rainfall is therefore much higher," the German Insurance Association stated.

"Despite many hailstorms to cars, we currently expect 2019 to be a normal loss year," said GDV board member Gause. 

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