PERILS adds Euro flood risk to loss database

Nordic risk managers should be better able to model their flood risk after catastrophe loss data provider PERILS expanded its market coverage to include European flood events.

PERILS already provides data for windstorm losses in Europe but has now added flood losses for Sweden, Denmark and Norway as well as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,  Switzerland and the UK.

The move comes after multibillion-euro losses across Europe from floods last year. According to the Swiss firm’s own forecast made last month, European windstorms have resulted in 1.9 million claims for €3.74bn insured losses.

The floods of 2021 mostly affected Germany and the Benelux but the rise in profile of flood risk has led PERILS to extend its data coverage across most of Europe.

While Denmark, Sweden and Norway largely escaped the worst of the floods in 2022, the region has not been immune to the impact of windstorms and extreme rainfall.

During August, large areas of Sweden experienced flash floods after receiving more than a month’s worth of rain in one day.  According to the Swedish weather forecaster SMHI, the Linköping-Malmslätt district saw 96mm of rain during the night of 27 August. It normally sees 60 to 70mm for the whole of August.

Meanwhile, the city of Gävle in Gästrikland region recorded 161mm of rain in 24 hours on 18 August, breaking the record for the most rain experienced in 24 hours, which was set in 2017 at 125mm.

So far, the impact of the extreme rainfall has been flood damage to homes in the Gävleborg and Dalarna counties, as well as damage to roads.

Denmark last experienced floods in 2017 when it was hit by a storm surge and coastal flooding caused by rising sea levels following a backflow of water from the Baltic Sea. The affected areas included  the east-facing coast of Southern Jutland, the south- and east-facing coasts of Funen and Zealand. Insurance companies received 403 claims under the country’s storm surge scheme.

PERILS has also raised the loss-capturing threshold for extratropical windstorms in Europe from €200m to €500m.

According to PERILS, the adjustment is a result of the significant rise in Europe’s insurance exposure and claims inflation suffered during the 13 years since the company was launched.

“By setting the threshold at €500m for pan-European events and €300m for individual countries, we believe this achieves the correct balance between ensuring we continue to provide relevant event loss data, while also ensuring the reporting requirements for our data-providing insurance companies are not overly burdensome,” said head of client relationship Dalida Bachmann.

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