Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reinsurance: "St. Jude" Windstorm ("Windstorm Christian") Losses Estimated at $1.7bn to $2.9bn--Credit Suisse

Despite the breathless warnings prior to landfall the storm was a bit of a damp squib at least in comparison to the 1703 storm* which seemed to come up in every other report.
From Artemis:
Insurance-linked securities and reinsurance-linked investment manager Credit Suisse has estimated that total insured industry losses from European windstorm Christian could be in the range of $1.7 billion to $2.9 billion but does not expect the event to impact its IRIS Low Volatility Plus fund.

The update from Credit Suisse comes via the DCG Iris London Stock Exchange listed insurance-linked securities fund, which is managed by Dexion Capital as a feeder fund into CS Iris Low Volatility Plus. With Credit Suisse not expecting any impact to its fund it also means that the DCG Iris fund is likely safe from windstorm Christian, as long as the insurance industry losses are within this range.
Credit Suisse describes the storms impacts:
Winter storm Christian (known as “St. Jude” in the United Kingdom) battered northern Europe  between October 27 and 29 affecting countries bordering the English Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea. It was one of the strongest storms of the last few years and reached peak wind gusts of more than 190 km/h (119mph) with storm surges reaching as high as 7.5 metres. Christian first impacted the south of Great Britain early on Monday, October 28, then moved along the English Channel and across Denmark and reached north-western Russia on Tuesday, though significantly weakened.
While most winter storms in Europe typically reach their peak intensity over the Atlantic Ocean, Christian gained in intensity while crossing Britain, caused by the shape of the jet stream. It reached its peak intensity while crossing northern Germany and Denmark, with southern Denmark recording wind gusts of 194.4 km/h (121 mph), the strongest in the country’s history. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, southern Scandinavia and the Baltic states were also impacted.
Storm Christian caused widespread transport disruption in all affected countries as rail lines were blocked by fallen trees, airports cancelled flights and harbours delayed shipping traffic. 270,000 homes in Britain and 75,000 in France temporarily lost power. The northern German city of Hamburg recorded a storm surge as the wind gusts drove water upstream the Elbe river. Flooding was very limited, however, as water levels reached only slightly above the barriers. At least 14 fatalities have been reported so far, mainly due to falling trees.
Most of the damage is expected to have been caused by the wind gusts as flying debris and falling trees damaged homes and cars. As buildings in the affected areas are primarily of masonry construction, most of the damage was limited to rooftops and chimneys, but the storm affected a very large area.
It is very early to produce industry loss estimates for Christian, hence the wide range published by Credit Suisse and there is likely to be some movement as the true extent of damage and resulting claims becomes clearer in the coming weeks.... MORE
*They weren't even close to comparable as this report from Risk Management Solutions points out there were at least 8,000 people killed by the earlier storm.