RMS Estimates Losses from Recent European Windstorm Could Reach $940 Million

January 9, 2003

California’s Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS), a global provider of products and services for catastrophe risk management, announced that overall losses from Windstorm Calvann, which swept through France and Germany on January 2, are expected to be approximately 900 million Euros ($938.7 million).

While far less than the multi-billion dollar losses caused by Lothar, which devastated much of the same territory in 1999, the losses are still substantial. Calvann caused widespread disruption over northeastern France and southwestern Germany with winds reaching 65 to 70 mph (100-110 kph) and up to 80 mph (125 kph) on the Franco-German border.

“The similarities in the footprints of the two storms means that the eventual losses should test how well the roof repairs were made after Lothar,” stated Dr. Barbara Page, manager of the RMS Europe Windstorm model. “At this point we still do not know whether the roofs were strengthened following Lothar, or their weaknesses left to be exploited by the next windstorm.”

Calvann’s winds toppled trees causing widespread damage to property and blocking hundreds of roads. Although RMS hasn’t yet issued an additional loss forecast, Calvann was followed by another storm that brought snow and freezing rain to the same region, causing enormous traffic jams, closing airports and temporarily isolating dozens of remote communties. Temperatures have remained below freezing, leaving the snow and ice in place, which continues to snarl traffic and has caused numerous accidents.

So far no estimates have been made of total insured losses from the two storms, although Allianz issued a preliminary estimate that it expected claims from Calvann to be somewhat below 20 million Euros ($20.86 million).

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