GDV: despite being below-average natural hazard year for German insurers, 2022 still saw huge damages

8 June 2023 — Daniela GHETU
Storm, hail and lightning caused immense damage across Germany in 2022. However, there was largely no major damage from other natural hazards such as heavy rain and flooding, an article recently published on the German Insurers Association's website reads.

Last year was a below-average natural hazard year for German insurers. "Storm, hail, lightning and other natural hazards such as heavy rain and flooding caused damage of around EUR 4 billion in 2022," said J?rg Asmussen, General Manager of the German Insurance Association (GDV), further explaining that as compared with 2021, the year with the highest claims volume for German insurers to date (EUR 13.2 billion) German insurers recorded about a third of the damage amount last year.

Property insurance, such as residential building or household contents insurance, accounted for EUR 3.1 billion in damage last year. The remaining 900 million euros were paid by motor vehicle insurers.

The heaviest damage was caused by hurricanes Ylenia, Zeynep and Antonia in February. "With a total of EUR 1.4 billion, the storm series is the third most severe winter storm since 2002," says Asmussen.

It is worth noting that currently, only about half of homeowners in Germany have protection against natural hazards such as heavy rain, flooding or earthquakes. "In order to cope with the consequences of climate change, it takes more than compulsory insurance for natural hazards. Damage can only be reduced through comprehensive prevention," says Asmussen. In addition, the insurance industry is demanding clear construction bans in areas at risk of flooding and mandatory climate risk assessments for building permits. He also emphasized that "insurance is important, but it is not enough on its own to protect our society from the growing number of natural disasters. Prevention is therefore essential."