World Insurance

Storm Ciarán’s Financial Fury: Insured Losses Soar Between €800 Million and €1.3 Billion, Verisk Reports

Winter Storm Ciarán, also named Emir by the Free University of Berlin, unleashed a formidable force across Europe, leading to significant insured losses estimated between €800 million and €1.3 billion ($855.2 million and $1.4 billion). According to Verisk, a global data analytics and technology provider, France bore the brunt of these losses. The storm’s evolution from a shallow low over the Ohio Valley in the U.S. to a potent bomb cyclone was marked by an explosive deepening of 34 millibars in just 24 hours over warm sea surface temperatures.

Upon reaching England and Wales in early November, Ciarán set a new record for the lowest atmospheric pressure recorded in these regions for the month. Despite the severity, the high-exposure areas in England and Wales were somewhat spared from the worst impacts. However, the story was different in northwestern Europe, particularly in northwest France and the Channel Islands. Brest, in northwest France, and the Channel Islands, especially Jersey, experienced severe damage, with Jersey suffering from extreme roof and structural damage, possibly due to a tornado spawned by the storm. Additionally, significant tree-related damage was reported, exacerbated by the fact that many trees still bore leaves and the ground was already saturated, increasing the likelihood of uprooting.

Verisk’s estimates of insured losses include physical damage from wind to various properties, encompassing residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and motor sectors. These estimates also account for business interruption and additional living expenses, although the latter is only included for the UK. Notably, these estimates do not include losses due to flooding, tornadoes, hail, or from Storm Domingos, which separately impacted France and Spain starting on November 4.

The financial implications of Ciarán, coupled with the concurrent impacts from Storm Domingos, highlight the increasing economic and structural vulnerabilities faced in the wake of such extreme weather events. As climate patterns continue to evolve, these incidents serve as a stark reminder of the need for robust disaster preparedness and response strategies, as well as the crucial role of accurate and comprehensive data analysis in understanding and mitigating these risks.

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