European storms to 'cost insurers billions'

26 January 2007

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re has claimed that the recent storms that have swept Europe are set to cost the insurance sector as much as $4.5 billion.

The storm developed over Newfoundland and arrived in Europe on January 18th, when it swept across Ireland and the UK, causing significant damage. It then progressed into mainland Europe and caused further problems.

However, there were many warnings before the storm - which has been named Kyrill - arrived and as such the number of reported fatalities is significantly lower than a similar storm in 1999.

Swiss Re stated that its own net claims are likely to be relatively modest at $181 million before tax. The reinsurer explained its "strict underwriting selection and successful hedging strategy" would help to keep its own claims to a minimum.

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