In February 2015, catastrophe losses in European countries occurred due to heavy snowfall, freezing, and floods. Such losses impacted the bottom lines and combined ratios of AIG (AIG), ACE (ACE), Allstate (ALL), Chubb (CB), and insurers held by the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF).
Europe remains an attractive market for US insurers. More mature markets in western Europe and growing markets in the central and eastern regions characterize this area of the world.
Catastrophe losses in Europe
February 2015 data provided by the Aon Benfield Global Catastrophe Recap shows that snowfall and freezing temperatures in western, northern, and Meditterranean Europe resulted in losses in the millions of US dollars. Initial estimates of economic losses from floods in the Balkans and Turkey reached $13 million, out of which $12.6 million arose in Bulgaria.
In February 2014, weather-related losses in Europe were significantly higher than they were in February 2015. The windstorms Nadja, Petra, Tini, and Ulla resulted in combined economic losses exceeding an estimated $1 billion. Insured losses for Tini, which had the worst impact, were close to $375 million.
In several parts of Europe, property and casualty insurance penetration is high. This implies that a lot of people have insured their property against losses due to catastrophe. Insured losses form a bigger proportion of economic losses in these regions.
Catastrophe losses in Australia
In Australia, economic losses surpassed $300 million in February 2015 due to cyclones Lam and Marcia, as shown in the table above. Cyclone Marcia, which was responsible for economic losses of more than $233 million, has already resulted in insurance claims of $69 million.
In the next article, we will take a look at catastrophe data for emerging markets.