Finance

Floods in Benelux second most expensive natural disaster of 2021

At Ida, the loss amounted to 65 billion dollars (57 billion euros). With the report, the researchers looked at the insurance claims submitted. So the real damage is even higher, they think. All types of severe weather, from flooding to heat waves, were included in the study.

Climate change is causing more and more financial damage. Four of the ten largest losses came from Asia, where floods and hurricanes together cost 24 billion euros. But the effects of global warming can be seen worldwide.

Homeless

Floods in Australia cost $2.1 billion in March and floods in Canada cost $7.5 billion. In addition, hundreds of people died in the various disasters and many people became homeless.

Damage from the most recent tornadoes in the United States has not yet been included in the report.

Insurers worldwide are concerned about global warming. Risk and insurance advisor Aon estimates that in 2021, for the sixth time in history, severe weather will cause damage of more than 100 billion euros. The first time that happened was in 2011, the year of, among other things, the devastating tsunami in Japan, and the blow of 2021 is the fourth in five years.

Incidentally, the natural disasters that cost the most lives are not necessarily the most expensive. More than 850,000 people have died in floods in Sudan, but the disaster is not in the top 10 in terms of damage.

Kill

This also applies to the drying up of Lake Chad in Central Africa. The lake has shrunk by 90 percent since the 1970s. The shortage of drinking water has killed millions of people, but the financial damage is minor.

The costs are often higher in non-developing countries, which is why the top 10 of Christian Aid are mainly western countries.

ASR

The damage caused by the flooding in South Limburg cost insurer ASR 20 to 30 million euros. The company made this known this summer when it published its half-year figures. More than 600 claims for damages had been filed at the time.

Unfortunately for ASR, but fortunately for the insured, the cover against flooding of secondary or regional flood defenses started last year. They protect against water from lakes, small rivers (not the Meuse) and canals.

This resulted in the extra cost of claims for ASR. The 20 to 30 million is entirely due to flooding from secondary flood defences. In South Limburg, the river Geul, among other things, caused flooding in places such as Valkenburg.

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