Floods in Europe could cost insurance companies over €3bn

German reinsurance company Munich Re has estimated Europe’s insurance industry will face over €3bn in damage claims from flooding in central Europe in May and June. Estimates for its own insured flood claim will be published within its second quarter earnings in August.

The reinsurer added that the total economic loss is likely to be more than €12bn, and that the floods were the most expensive natural disaster in the first six months of the year. Inland flooding in Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia accounted for 47 per cent of the worldwide economic losses and 45 per cent of insured losses in the first half of the year, it estimates.

Germany was the worst-hit country, with the German government easing bankruptcy rules for stricken businesses in light of the crisis. Other affected countries include the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

The estimates from Munich Re follow those from rival Swiss Re yesterday that flood damage will cost insurers between $3.5bn and $4.5bn (€2.7bn to €3.5bn).