Guy Carpenter Unveils 2005 Central, Eastern Europe Flood Report

December 28, 2005

Guy Carpenter & Company Ltd. reported the release of European Flood Report 2005 – Central and Eastern Europe, a detailed summary and review of 2005 Central and Eastern European flood activity. The report, available in both English and German, also provides information on resultant damage and insured losses across Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria.

According to the report, which closely examines the August floods that severely affected Switzerland, Germany and Austria as well as unrelated spring and summer flooding in Romania and Bulgaria, total flood-related insured losses reached more than EUR1.25 billion across Central Europe. Various reinsurers expect to pay out between EUR15 million and EUR65 million in insured losses across flood-affected areas in Central and Eastern Europe, with Switzerland suffering the greatest losses. The overall economic loss to Central Europe alone is estimated to be around EUR2.3 billion.

“The mid-August floods in Central Europe were the most significant event of 2005 and the worst the region has seen since 2002,” said Hanspeter Hilfiker, senior vice president. “Switzerland experienced almost unprecedented economic damage – more than EUR1.7 billion – but Germany and Austria were hard hit as well, with thousands of properties affected and hundreds of people forced to evacuate across central Europe. Eastern European floods were also severe, with Romania experiencing its worst flooding in more than 30 years, but insured losses there were low in comparison because of the relatively low number of households with flood insurance coverage.”

The report provides a detailed, country-by-country summary of flood events, as well as a thorough analysis of insured losses. Among the report’s highlights:

* Switzerland: Switzerland experienced heavy August rainfall – in several regions the heaviest on record – causing extensive damage throughout the country and severe flooding, especially in Bern and Lucerne. Insured losses in Switzerland totaled CHF1.85 billion (EUR1.2 billion).
* Germany/Austria: In Germany and Austria, several rivers overflowed, causing extensive damage in Bavaria and the western Austrian provinces of Voralberg and Tyrol. Economic losses in Bavaria alone were expected to reach EUR172 million, which is still significantly less than the EUR345 million incurred during the 1999 floods. The Austrian Insurance Association estimates insured flood losses of around EUR100 million, compared to a loss of EUR400 million suffered during the 2002 floods.
* Romania: With 69 people killed, more than 30 towns affected and 13,000 people forced to evacuate, northern Romania suffered heavy flood damage. The Romanian government estimates more than EUR1.5 billion in total damages from the spring and summer floods, which may have a significant impact on the country’s economic growth in 2005.
* Bulgaria: 2005 floods affected more than a quarter of Bulgaria’s population, with government damage estimates totaling BGN1 billion (EUR520 million).

The full report is available for download at Printed copies can be obtained by contacting Guy Carpenter at

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