Floods in Germany likely caused nearly $ 6 billion in damage to the insurance industry

Floods in Germany likely caused nearly $ 6 billion in damage to the insurance industry


The damage caused by the devastating floods in Germany last week is likely to cost the insurance industry up to five billion euros, the Association of the Insurance Industry (GDV) announced on Wednesday.

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The damage caused by the devastating floods in Germany last week is likely to cost the insurance industry up to five billion euros, the Association of the Insurance Industry (GDV) announced on Wednesday.

“We are currently expecting insured losses of four to five billion euros,” said Jörg Asmussen, Managing Director of GDV, and called the disaster “one of the most devastating storms in recent history”.

The damage in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate is likely to exceed the 4.65 billion euros recorded after a flood in August 2002, it said.

The actual costs are likely to be significantly higher, however, since less than half of Germans in the affected federal states are insured against heavy rain and floods, the association said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised on Tuesday during a visit to the badly hit medieval town of Bad Münstereifel that Berlin would help in the short and long term.

The estimate does not include damage from the southern German state of Bavaria and in Saxony in the east last weekend.

According to GDV, only around 45 percent of homeowners in Germany have insurance against flood damage, which has sparked a discussion about the need for compulsory insurance.

More than 170 people died in the flood, Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century, thousands were missing.

For emergency aid, the federal government is initially providing up to 200 million euros in emergency aid, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that further funds could be made available if necessary.

In addition, there is at least 250 million euros that the states concerned are making available to repair buildings and damaged local infrastructure and to help people in crisis situations.

The floods have dominated the political agenda ahead of a national election in September, raising uncomfortable questions about why Europe’s richest economy got caught off guard.

Two thirds of Germans are of the opinion that federal and state politics should have done more to protect communities from flooding, as a survey by the Institute for German Mass Distribution INSA showed on Wednesday.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who was asked to resign because of the high death toll by opposition politicians, said there was no shortage of money for reconstruction.

“That’s why people pay taxes so that they can get help in such situations. Not everything can be insured,” he said at a press conference.

“Since the time interval between serious natural disasters is getting shorter and shorter, a debate is needed about a protection concept and how it could be designed,” said Seehofer.

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier said the radio aid from Deutschlandfunk would also include funds to help companies such as restaurants or hairdressing salons make up for lost revenue.

(With contributions from agencies)

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