October 7th, 2009

Impact and Implications of Swiss Hailstorms in July 2009: Conclusion

Posted at 10:00 AM ET

Hailstorms in Switzerland pose a significant threat to property and the local population, despite the localized nature of the peril. Although hail events lack the widespread destruction of floods and windstorms, the risk is potentially costly, especially in densely developed urban areas.

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This was well demonstrated by the July 23 hailstorms. Golf ball-sized hail caused considerable damage to property, vehicles and crops across a wide area of Switzerland, and in the worst affected cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Lucerne and Vaud particularly. The extensive damage culminated in an insured loss of around CHF733 million, one of Switzerland’s biggest ever hail losses.

The July hailstorms are likely to have a significant impact on 2010 (re)insurance renewals in Switzerland. The increased frequency of severe hail events in Switzerland over the last few years illustrates the need for good quality tools and data to help (re)insurance companies quantify their exposure to the peril, and Guy Carpenter intends to play a leading role in developing these solutions.

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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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