The FINANCIAL -- Initial
estimates indicate that losses due to natural catastrophes totalled
€17bn in Europe in the first nine months of 2013. These loss figures
were dominated by flood losses, which accounted for a share of 75%.
Governments and insurance companies need to concern themselves more closely with risk mitigation strategies in order to limit such losses. In addition, strong fluctuations in business results can thus be avoided, according to Munich Re .
The long-term trend in the number of natural catastrophe events and the resulting losses is clearly pointing upwards: an analysis of Munich Re 's natural hazards statistics confirms that severe weather events have almost tripled worldwide since 1980. Flood events in Germany and central Europe have doubled since 1980.
“It is urgently necessary to adapt to such events now. Studies clearly show that it makes far more economic sense for economies to invest in prevention early on and thus avoid losses”, said Ludger Arnoldussen, member of Munich Re 's Board of Management. From a humanitarian perspective, at any rate, preventive measures are a must. They reduce susceptibility to loss, particularly in the case of flood risks. Examples of preventive measures include the designation of flood plains near rivers, cross-border river management and, of course, private protection measures.
The flooding in southern and eastern Germany and neighbouring states in May and June 2013, which gave rise to an economic loss of more than €12bn, has been the biggest loss event thus far. Given their dimension, natural catastrophes have a substantial influence on insurers' results and capitalisation. To limit these fluctuations and their impact on capitalisation, Munich Re offers tailored reinsurance solutions. Special risk transfer solutions are available for the coverage of entrepreneurial risks arising from uncertain and unforeseeable weather systems – for instance, for energy companies whose turnover is dependent on the weather. In addition, Munich Re assists its clients in identifying and managing risk on the basis of comprehensive data analyses. The risks are recorded according to their geographic location to ensure that even regionally extensive portfolios can be assessed in a risk-commensurate manner. ”Our services and risk expertise are what distinguishes us from other market players”, commented Arnoldussen. “We have a very broad spectrum of solutions to offer our clients.”
Munich Re sees itself as well positioned for the forthcoming treaty renewal negotiations in reinsurance business and expects prices for business in its own portfolio to remain largely stable. Special circumstances apply to the German market, where the high claims burden from natural hazard events in the current year will play a major role in the renewal discussions, according to Munich Re .