Storm Babet and Storm Aline insurance industry losses revealed

New report unveils losses from October 2023 floods

Storm Babet and Storm Aline insurance industry losses revealed


By Jonalyn Cueto

Zurich-based organization PERILS has released its latest assessment of industry losses stemming from the floods and storms induced by low-pressure systems Babet (Viktor) and Aline (Wolfgang) across the British Isles and northwestern Europe from October 18 to 22, 2023.

According to a Press release, the updated estimate now stands at €683 million, a notable increase from the initial evaluation of EUR 509 million announced on December 4, 2023, approximately six weeks after the end of the weather events. The primary impact was felt in the United Kingdom, predominantly attributed to flood-related incidents.

PERILS gathered information from affected insurance markets including Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, and Norway. The majority of losses, totaling £467 million, occurred in the UK and were primarily associated with flooding.

Flooding resulting in industry losses

The extended period of severe weather, caused by the interaction of low-pressure systems Babet and Aline, led to incessant rain and high winds in the region. A stationary weather pattern resulted from a high-pressure system over Scandinavia blocking the low-pressure systems, causing prolonged heavy rains and high winds. This situation overwhelmed river and drainage capacities in Ireland, Scotland, northern England, and Wales, resulting in flash and river flooding.

While flood losses dominated the insurance industry impact in the UK and Ireland, wind damage played a lesser role. By contrast, Germany, Denmark, and Norway experienced wind damage as the primary contributor to insurance losses. Notably, storm surge damages along the Baltic coast in Germany and Denmark were significant. However, these losses are not extensively covered in Germany, and Denmark relies on the government scheme "Naturskaderådet" rather than private insurance for such events.

An updated market loss estimate for the Babet-Aline Floods and Storms is anticipated on April 22, 2024, marking six months after the conclusion of the weather events.

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