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Record amount of damage from extreme weather in the Netherlands

Damage caused by extreme weather in the Netherlands will exceed €886 million in 2022, the highest amount of insured damage since 2007. This is according to the annual Climate Damage Monitor by the Verbond van Verzekeraars. The Verbond van Verzekeraars reports that the monitor shows damages due to lightning, hail, precipitation, flooding, frost, and storms from 2007 to 2022.

February storms 
The greatest damage was caused by the triple storm in February: Eunice, Dudley, and Franklin raged across the country and caused record numbers of damage reports. Warnings from KNMI, Rijkswaterstaat, and insurers enabled people to take preventive measures. Nevertheless, the three storms caused damage amounting to more than EUR 714 million. That is 214 million more than previously estimated by the Association.  

Managing director Richard Weurding: "Extreme weather is costing society more and more money. The impact of climate change is obvious. So we must pull out all the stops to make the Netherlands more climate-proof. And this starts with awareness. How do we prevent damage, build safely and adapt? Only then can we continue to ensure insurability for people and businesses in the long term." 

Early warning 
In order to provide early warnings, KNMI is building an Early Warning Centre (EWC). This warning advisory center will indicate earlier and more accurately the place and time when risks arise from extreme weather. The EWC also shows what the consequences of such a situation might be and what people can do to be better prepared.

The World Meteorological Organisation, a leading international organization, reported in March this year that early warning and prevention could even save up to 30 percent of the damage caused by extreme weather worldwide.

Indeed, climate damage causes a lot of inconveniences, notes Weurding: "Besides the loss of property due to a violent storm, for example, it also has an emotional impact, which we should not underestimate. I think of the fall wind in Leersum (2021). In about 30 seconds, a trail of destruction was left in the village. People are still suffering from that today.

Warning in time last year saved estimated tens of millions of euros and the misery that goes with it. This can already include safer (indoor) parking of vehicles, timely securing of fences, and clearing away objects that could blow away. This is why we work intensively with KNMI." 

Multi-year picture of damage 
There has been an erratic damage pattern in recent years, with various causes. 2021 saw major floods in Limburg. This involved damage of 210 million. In 2016, extreme weather led to nearly €770 million in damage. A hailstorm caused a lot of damage, especially in North Brabant. This was the highest amount until last year's damage amounted to a whopping over 886 million euros. 

The Verbond van Verzekeraars has prepared a toolkit with prevention tips and tools for climate damage. See all the figures in the Climate Damage Monitor here.

Source: Verbond van Verzekeraars 

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