Extreme weather caused a record amount of damage in 2022, with claims amounting to €886 million, according to figures compiled by the Dutch association of insurers VvV.
Most of the damage related to a trio of storms in four days in February, named Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. The total bill for the three storms was €714 million, well above the insurers’ initial estimate of €500 million.
Eunice was the third heaviest storm in the last 50 years, with wind speeds of up to 141 km/h measured in coastal areas, the meteorological bureau KNMI said.
The KNMI is developing an early warning centre to give earlier and more accurate predictions of extreme weather events, so that people can take action to protect themselves and their property.
The previous record dates from 2016, when €770 million was paid out for storm damage. The main event that year was a severe hailstorm that hit Noord-Brabant, when hailstones the size of tennis balls descended on the villages of Luyksgestel and Someren in June.
Richard Weurding, head of the insurers’ association, said the impact of climate change could be seen in the rise in claims triggered by summer floods and winter storms.
‘Extreme weather is becoming increasingly expensive for our society,’ he said. ‘So we need to do everything we can to make the Netherlands more climate resilient. That begins with awareness. How can we prevent damage, build safely and change our behaviour?
‘That’s the only way we can ensure we keep people and businesses insured in the long term.’
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