© RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg
2018 could be an expensive year for the five Luxembourgish insurance companies, with claims from thunderstorms, hailstorms, and floods already nearing that of 2016 without counting the recent flooding that devastated the Mullerthal area.
While the Ernz valley floods in 2016 had damages leading to 7 million euros in insurance claims, this year, damages from natural disasters are already at 4-5 million euros and this sum does not include the flooding from last weekend that also devastated the Mullerthal area.
Bad weather costs
Last Friday, water and mud flowed through Greiveldange. There was no time for residents to save their personal possessions. In the areas around the Moselle alone, the material damages lie in the hundred of thousands. Estimates for the Mullerthal retion are still unknown. The bad weather has continued over the last week as well, with basements throughout Luxembourg being flooded.
Marc Hengen, the CEO of the ACA (Luxembourg's insurance and reinsurance assocation) confirmed that May was certainly an active month in terms of thunderstorms and hailstorms. The hail in particular will already cost insurance companies 4 to 5 million euros this year, he said.
What insurance covers
The floods in the Ernz valley on 22 July 2016 started a discussion on what insurance is supposed to cover. The key change from these discussions came into practice on 1 June last year. Five members of the ACA offer an additional insurance cover that can be taken up on an optional basis. This additional cover concerns flood damages.
Gilbert Wolter, the commercial and marketing director of Foyer, claims that a third of people tend not to be adequately prepared. For that reason, Foyer is prepared to continue its awareness campaigns of having additional flood cover.
Steve Balance, the co-director of La Luxembourgeoise, says that they have seen that this cover is successful. He continued to explain that insurance is a type of solidarity product and it would be useful for people to anticipate what kinds of cover they would need to help safeguard their affairs.
What does the flood guarantee entail? The base amount for 99% of the population lies at €200,000 per year and per event. Those who live in flood zones have a base amount of €20,000.
No company or car damages
There are a few caveats. The flood cover applies to private individuals, not companies. The cover, which costs between €100 and €150, does not apply to car damages from natural disasters. Any damages from hailstorms or the like fall under the umbrella of car insurance.
The most recent floods have shown that damage does not just come from river water levels rising. Instead, your possessions can also be affected by mud slides and excessive rainfall. For this reason, Luxembourg's insurance sector is constantly developing its service offerings to bear in mind these new threats.