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Windstorm Christian May Cost More Than $2 Billion, AIR Estimates

Windstorm Christian, known as the St. Jude’s day storm in the U.K., may cost the insurance industry between 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) and 2.3 billion euros, catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide said.

The majority of insured losses occurred in Denmark and Germany, with further losses in the Netherlands, France, the U.K. and Sweden, the Boston-based firm said in an e-mailed statement today. AIR’s estimate is higher than the 800 million-euro to 1.3 billion-euro range analysts at Willis Re published on Nov. 4.

The storm hit southern Britain on Oct. 28, knocking down trees, flooding lowlands and disrupting travel, before moving north and east, hitting France, the Netherlands, northern Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia.

“Christian produced record-setting wind speeds at several meteorological stations, but the total wind damage was less severe than that from the previously mentioned historical storms,” Gerhard Zuba, senior principal scientist at the firm, said in the statement.

Swiss Re Ltd., Europe’s second-biggest reinsurer, said today it expects claims from the storm to be about $100 million. Aviva Plc, Britain’s second-biggest insurer, said separately it estimates the impact of the storm to be about 10 million pounds ($16 million), within the company’s budget for such events.

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