AIR Estimates Emma Insured Losses at $1.15 to $2 Billion

March 7, 2008

AIR Worldwide’s preliminary estimates of onshore wind losses for Windstorm Emma are between €750 million and €1.3 billion ($1.15 and $2 billion), significantly higher than the insured loss estimates released by RMS (See IJ web site – Damages in Germany and Austria account for more than half the total.

Windstorm Emma, which swept across Central Europe on Saturday, March 1, caused damage in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K. AIR noted that its estimate doesn’t include losses in the Czech Republic or the Baltic States.

The storm’s heavy rains and hurricane-force winds combined to cause “significant damage to residential buildings,” said AIR. “It also disrupted highway, rail, and air traffic, prompted flood alerts in the Netherlands along the North Sea, and cut power to thousands of households—some of which were still without power Monday. In the aftermath of the storm, fifteen people were reported dead.”

Dr. Peter Dailey, director of atmospheric science at AIR Worldwide, noted: “Wind gusts were recorded at 155 km/h [93 mph] (Fichtelberg), 152 km/h [91.2 mph] (Chemnitz), and 146 km/h [87.6 mph] (Benediktbeuren). Some of the highest gusts were observed in southern Germany’s high terrain and are not representative of typical lowland conditions with the highest exposure. Outside of Germany, gusts of 130 km/h [78 mph] were reported in both Salzburg and Vienna.”

Dailey noted: “Emma was not as large as last season’s most severe event Windstorm Kyrill, which produced damaging winds in more than ten countries across Europe and resulted in the largest damage footprint in decades. Kyrill was a ‘broad brush’ event, indicating it had an elongated cold front oriented north to south, which often results in a very broad wind footprint. Kyrill also experienced a period of re-intensification as it passed over Germany resulting in locally severe and more widespread damage.”

Source: AIR Worldwide –

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