October 1st, 2009

Impact and Implications of Swiss Hailstorms in July 2009: Swiss Insurance Market

Posted at 11:59 AM ET

Insurance officials said the hailstorms on July 23 were the most severe and costly to hit Switzerland in 50 years. Despite typically being local events, these storms can cause severe damage to property, vehicles and crops as the July 23 hailstorms demonstrated.

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In Switzerland, obligatory property cover for natural hazards (including hail, flood, windstorm, landslide, falling rock, avalanche and snow weight) is provided by a complex two-tier system of cantonal and private insurers. As the table below shows, 19 cantons have their own insurers which provide cover for all buildings in their respective areas. Cover in these 19 cantons is obligatory and for three of these cantons, contents insurance is also mandatory. In the seven other cantons (known as the Gustavo cantons), buildings insurance is still compulsory but cover is provided by private insurers. Meanwhile, all crop damage in Switzerland is covered by the Schweizer Hagel (Swiss hail) insurance company while private insurers provide motor insurance.

swiss-hail-storm-brief-table2

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Guy Carpenter’s Instrat® department provides CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email CAT.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Instrat also provides RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email RISK.i@guycarp.com if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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