RMS Update Shows European Windstorm Damages Climb Upward

November 5, 2002

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) has updated its estimate of damages and insured losses from Windstorm Jeanette, originally released on Oct. 30. RMS now estimates that total damages from the storm, which impacted northern Europe on Oct. 27 and 28, may exceed euro 1.5 billion ($1.49 billion). Insured losses are likely to be in the range of euro 0.8 to 1.2 billion ($797.6 million to $1.19 billion), principally in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Initial estimates from RMS showed total damages of up to euro 1 billion ($997 million) and insured losses of less than euro 0.3 billion ($299.1 million). Additional information and analysis of recorded windspeeds has subsequently revealed a more damaging windfield for the storm, particularly in the Netherlands and Germany. The company analyzed windspeed recordings and adjusted them for terrain conditions at each data collection site, leading to higher estimates of overall windspeeds.

“Windspeeds for this storm are right at the margin of thresholds where building damage begins to occur,” commented Richard Dixon, senior meteorologist at RMS. “By correcting the wind recordings for localized terrain conditions we see an increase in the overall level of damage and insured loss.”

New data from insurers in Germany is consistent with these trends, with claims volume continuing to climb following the 80,000 claims registered within the first 48 hours.

Wind-related damage, electricity outages, and disruption to transport were also experienced across Wales, the English Midlands, and into the Netherlands. In the Netherlands alone sources estimate that insured losses from property damage could exceed euro 100 million ($99.7 million).

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