Industry group sees $8.2B insured damage from German floods

BERLIN (AP) — Devastating floods in western Germany last month likely caused insured damage to the tune of about 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion), an insurance industry group said Wednesday, significantly increasing its previous estimate.

More than 180 people died in Germany and hundreds more were injured in the July 14-15 floods, which also claimed lives in neighboring Belgium. Heavy rainfall turned small streams into raging torrents, sweeping away houses, bridges and cars.

Joerg Asmussen, the head of the German Insurance Association said that residential buildings, household equipment and damage to companies accounted for about 6.5 billion euros ($7.6 billion) of the estimated damage, while vehicles accounted for another 450 million euros ($529 million).

The umbrella group for private insurers had previously estimated that insured damage would total 4.5 billion to 5.5 billion euros. ($5.3 billion to $6.5 billion).

The association said the total damage from the floods will be well above its estimates because many buildings weren’t insured for “elementary damage” from events such as floods.

It said that almost all residential buildings in Germany are insured against storms and hail, but only 46% are insured against further dangers such as strong rain and floods.

The German government has agreed to provide 30 billion euros ($35 billion) to help rebuild regions hit by the floods.

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