French insurance companies to pay out nearly €4bn to cover storm damages

© Thibaud Moritz/AFP

The string of storms that hit various regions of France since the end of May will cost nearly four billion euros, with nearly a million insurance claims – a situation that French insurance companies say is unprecedented.

Several violent storms, some with hail and strong winds, have hit various regions of France since the end of May, causing “unprecedented” damage to houses, cars, commercial property and farmland, according to France Assureurs, the French federation of insurance companies.

"Climatic destruction [in 2022] has already reached a cost without precedent in the last twenty years,” the federation wrote in a statement Tuesday, outlining the cost of the damage to insurers.

Nearly one million insurance claims have been filed since the end of May for damage caused hail, wind, lightening strikes or flooding from storms that have been “exceptional, both in their intensity and their duration”.

Storms that hit various regions of France between 18 June and 4 July, as well as massive storms over the weekend of 4-5 June and between May 20 and 23, generated 979 million insurance claims, totaling 3.9 billion euros, according to the federation.

The federation is “convinced by the climatic urgency”, said president Florence Lustman, and it has worked with its members to increase coverage and reduce damage via prevention.

Insurance companies say they are increasing capacity to pay claims, and have asked assessors to accelerate their on-site visits to speed up payouts.