U.K. Insurers Fear Big Losses as Storm Ravages Country

January 30, 2002

A violent storm sweeping in off the North Sea over the weekend has left a trail of devastation in Northern England, Wales and Scotland. With wind gusts reaching 120 mph. The storm caused the deaths of 7 persons, halted rail services, overturned trucks, uprooted trees, downed power lines and ripped roofs off houses before moving on towards Norway and Denmark, and the Baltic States, where it created more havoc.

Similar storms two years ago cost U.K. insurers over £265 million ($373.6 million), and by many estimates the damages from this one could be even worse. In addition to the losses caused by the winds, heavy snow and rain fell in parts of the U.K., especially along the Scottish border, causing flood alerts to be issued for the valleys of the Severn the Trent and the Wye.

The winds caused power outages, which at one point left 90,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Some 25,000 people were still without current on Tuesday, as emergency crews worked around the clock to reestablish connections.

The Association of British Insurers said that it was too early to assess the damages, but that the storm appeared to be the worst to hit the U.K. in 10 years. Two similar storms in France in 1999 cost insurers nearly $6 billion, but indications are that damages in the U.K. will not be as costly, due in part to the fact that the winds hit less populated areas.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.