28 May 2024, 13:23
Carolina Kyllmann

Insured damages from extreme weather events in Germany rise to 5.7 bln euros in 2023

Clean Energy Wire

Extreme weather events, such as storms, hail and heavy rainfall, caused insured losses to the tune of 5.7 billion euros in Germany in 2023, the German Insurance Association (GDV) said. "This is 1.7 billion euros more than in 2022," GDV head Jörg Asmussen said. Property damages accounted for 3.7 billion euros, the vast majority of which (2.7 billion euros) were as a result of storms and hail. Damages to motor vehicles through hail were also especially costly, reaching two billion euros, Asmussen said. The association cited high labour costs at workshops and an increase in prices for spare parts as the main reasons for the cost hike.

Damages in the states of Bavaria (over two billion euros) and Hesse (892 million euros) were the highest in the country, according to the GDV. "The Alpine region, and the Taunus and Odenwald low mountain ranges in Hesse, were particularly frequently affected by hail," Asmussen said. However, he added that making insurance compulsory – a topic heavily discussed in Germany – was not the answer. Instead, the government should implement climate adaptation measures to protect against extreme weather events. "Top priority should be given to climate-adapted planning, construction and renovation," Asmussen said.

The insurance industry has already warned that climate change is increasing the risk of natural hazards, and that Germany should stop building homes in areas threatened by flooding. Following deadly floods in 2021, German insurers recorded the highest claims volume for natural hazards at 12.6 billion euros. Extreme weather damages in Germany amounted to more than 80 billion euros in 2021, which also includes non-insured damages, according to a report by the economy ministry (BMWK). The government introduced a climate adaptation law in 2023, setting a binding framework for action at the national and state levels.

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