The trail of destruction left by Storm Ciara, which hit the UK over the weekend of February 8 and 9, is expected to cost up to £200m in insurance claims.
The financial damage caused by the winds of up to 97mph and flood damage to homes, cars and businesses has been estimated by insurance experts at accountancy firm PwC – and they warned that Storm Dennis, expected to hit this weekend, was likely to add to the final bill.
Mohammad Khan, a partner and head of general insurance at PwC, said: “It’s still very early to assess an overall market impact as claims are still being reported to insurance companies. However, our early indication is that UK insurance market losses for homes, cars and businesses impacted by the storms will be between £150m and £200m.”
Khan added: “Unfortunately with the rain that has already fallen, the additional significant rain that Storm Dennis could bring may cause severe flooding in some parts of the UK.”
Dennis is expected to bring rainfall of up to 140mm and winds of 80mph. The Met Office, which has amber rain warnings and yellow wind warnings in place over much of the country, said that due to the already saturated ground, there was an increased risk of flooding and associated damage.
Across Europe, the cost of the destruction caused by last week’s storm – which was named Sabine in Germany – is expected to be between €1.1bn and €1.8bn.
The catastrophe-risk-modelling firm RMS said losses in Germany would account for about 50% of the total. Ciara also affected France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. Wind speeds of up to 137mph were recorded in Corsica.
Michèle Lai, a product manager for Europe climate models at RMS, said the storm “exhibited characteristics typical of European windstorms, with low gusty winds causing widespread damage across several countries”.