No, I'm not writing about the upcoming renewals, as some readers may infer from the title… Rather, for me the annual reinsurance meeting at Baden-Baden has always marked the start of the European winter storm season. After a (so far) benign tropical cyclone season, let's see what kind of storms this winter will bring to Europe.
Last year at Baden-Baden we presented some insights into Swiss Re's new European winter storm model. Those of you who attended may recall that the basis of our model was a thorough analysis of 140-year weather records (the 20th Century Reanalysis data). Judging by the audience response, there seemed to be lively interest in forgotten catastrophes that occurred long before Daria / Burn's Day Storm (1990) and Lothar (1999). I'm extremely excited that we're now releasing a new Swiss Re publication with a detailed account of massive storms that struck Europe in 1876, 1884 and 1894. Modelled "as-if today", the insurance losses from each (!) of these events exceed EUR 10 billion. And these losses would increase substantially had the historic tracks been only slightly different – with their centre of intensity over urbanised regions rather than what today are still mostly rural areas.
We'll bring copies of the publication to Baden-Baden – keep an eye out for them at Swiss Re's event headquarters, Badhotel zum Hirsch!
Category: Climate/natural disasters: Floods/storms