UK storms to impact re/insurers. PwC estimates Babet insured loss up to £650m

As the UK is hit by another storm overnight, PwC UK has provided an estimate of insurance market losses from the recent Babet storm, which it says will be between 450 million and 650 million of pounds sterling.

storm-wind-wavesFlooding is expected to account for a significant portion of insurance sector losses following Storm Babet, which hit the UK from October 18-21.

Storm Babet produced what the Met Office called “exceptional rainfall”, with 150-200mm falling in parts of eastern Scotland.

The Met Office also said that heavy, persistent and widespread rain also affected much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland from the 18th to the 20th, with falls of 100mm being quite wide.

There were also winds of more than 50 knots across much of northeast England and Scotland, with maximum wind gusts of more than 100 mph in the Scottish mountains and more than 70 mph altitude.

Overnight, the south of the UK and the north of France were hit by Storm Ciarán, which brought wind gusts of more than 70 mph to parts of the south coast and Cornwall, more than 100 mph on the Channel Islands and over 180 mph in parts of northwest France.

Storm Ciarán is expected to increase the overall total insured losses from windstorms so far this European season and with more storms coming across the UK and Northern Europe it looks like this could become a more costly than that observed in recent years.

Mohammad Khan, head of general insurance at PwC UK, commented before Storm Ciarán reached the UK: “Given the scale of the flooding we have seen and the subsequent damage to residential and commercial properties, we expect insurance losses from Storm Babet to be between £450 million and £650 million.

“Significant insurance costs suggest that additional warnings about the potential impacts of Storm Ciarán in England and the Channel Islands could drive up these costs.

“The Met Office has issued yellow and amber warnings, indicating danger to people and buildings. Forecast winds of up to 80 mph, coupled with structural damage and flying debris, can compound existing financial costs.

“Although the severity of Storm Babet was anticipated, the next Storm Ciarán could worsen the damage.”

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