Insured losses from storm Ciara could near $2 billion, RMS estimates

(Reuters) – Total insured property losses from storm Ciara, which was named Sabine in Germany, could be between 1.1 billion and 1.8 billion euros ($1.2 billion-$1.95 billion), catastrophe risk modeling firm RMS estimated on Friday. Ciara lashed Britain with heavy rain and winds of more than 90 miles an hour (145 km/hour) on Sunday, forcing the cancellations of flights, train services and sports matches. In the Netherlands here the storm led to some flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s busiest, to be axed or delayed as it blew in off the Atlantic. All professional Dutch soccer matches were canceled. Sabine, meanwhile, forced the cancellation of about 100 flights to and from Frankfurt airport. RMS said losses in Germany will account for around 50% of the total. Ciara also affected France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic between Feb. 8 and Feb. 11. “This event exhibited characteristics typical of European windstorms, with low gusty winds causing widespread damage across several countries, and is most comparable to Windstorm Emma in 2008,” Michèle Lai, product manager for Europe Climate Models at RMS, said. PwC said separately its early indication is that UK insurance market losses for homes, cars and businesses impacted by the storms will be between 150 million pounds and 200 million pounds ($195 million and $260 million). 

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