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Luxembourg policyholders urged to review insurance cover after July flooding

22 October 2021

The Luxembourg Insurance and Reinsurance Association (ACA) has urged policyholders to review their cover following the July flooding which has been declared “most expensive disaster in the history of Luxembourg insurance”.

An update from the ACA has estimated the total cost at Euros 125m with the association receiving around 6,500 claims for damage to homes and businesses, and 1,300 for vehicle damage.

As of mid-October, it estimated around 80% of vehicle claims had been paid in full while 85% of home and business claims had been met, although only partially in some cases.

According to the ACA’s statement, a number of factors had contributed to the delay in compensation, including incomplete appraisals, lags on invoice payments and supply chain issues in securing the materials needed for repairs.

In view of the rise in extreme weather events over the last three years in Luxembourg, the ACA has recommended policyholders examine the guarantees they have taken out and have them reviewed by their insurer or insurance agent. ACA offers an extra-judicial platform in partnership with the ULC (Luxembourg Union of Consumers) to solve disputes involving insurance companies and their clients.

The floods, the worst in the Duchy’s history, hit Luxembourg on 14-15 July, when water levels reached historic highs. Belgium and Holland, as well as Germany, were also affected.

According to Cresta, established by the insurance and reinsurance industry as an independent body for the technical management of natural catastrophe insurance, the extreme flooding event in Western Europe in mid-July has generated the largest industry loss figure in 2021, currently estimated at Euros 9.45billion (USD 11.0bn). This is followed by the severe convective storms in Europe in June which to date have generated an industry loss of Euros 4.38 billion (USD 5.1bn).

In Belgium, flood damage is expected to surpass Euros 2bn but damage to buildings has been estimated at around Euros 125m. In September the Belgian government announced an agreement with insurers to reimburse 100% of all insured victims, through the Flemish Disaster Fund.

The Flemish Disaster Fund intervenes in exceptional cases to partially compensate material damage after a natural disaster. That natural disaster must then be recognized as such by the Flemish government.

“The floods of July have hit the whole country hard. We need to combine all our efforts to help the victims recover,” said Brussels minister-president Rudi Vervoort at the time.

“This agreement between the Brussels region and the insurance sector will offer 100% compensation to all insured victims without any additional special administrative formalities,” he added.

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