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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Damage from Elon and Felix windstorms estimated at €328m

The damage to insured properties caused by windstorms Elon and Felix has been estimated at €328m (£242m), according to PERILS.


Windstorm © iStock
The windstorms affected countries in Europe such as Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. © iStock

The value of the damage caused by the storms, which hit Northern Europe in January, was calculated using ultimate gross loss data as reported by primary insurance companies. It excluded losses compensated by government schemes. 

Luzi Hitz, CEO of PERILS, said: “Elon-Felix is the first event of the European winter storm season 2014-15 that exceeds the PERILS loss capturing trigger of €200m. It was followed by windstorm Hermann (14-16 January 2015), which did not exceed the €200m loss threshold.”

PERILS explained Elon-Felix consisted of two low-pressure storms occurring within 24 hours of each other. Therefore, the loss was estimated on a combined basis, as it would not be possible to allocate losses to an individual storm system. 

Hitz said: “The main characteristics of Elon-Felix were the rapid succession of two low-pressure systems, generating strong winds which affected almost identical areas within 24 hours. As a result, the allocation of particular losses to an individual named depression system is in some cases unclear and the event loss is therefore reported on a combined basis.”

The windstorms hit Western and Northern Europe from 8 to 11 January, with the majority of the losses occurring in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

PERILS confirmed an updated estimate of the Elon-Felix loss would be made available by 8 April.