Storm damage 18 January 2018: all hands on deck

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nyheder & blog Blog Storm damage 18 January 2018: all hands on deck

Storm damage 18 January 2018: all hands on deck

Edwin Rijsdijk

Manager | Consultant, Van Ameyde Benelux

Læsetid: 5 minutes
In the Netherlands the 18 January storm was the most severe in the past 25 years. So far, Van Ameyde Netherlands has received some 10,000 storm-related claims under home insurance alone. This equals two months’ worth of claims under normal circumstances.

Winds blew roofs of buildings, uprooted trees fell on homes and cars, and flying debris caused even more damage. The number of claim notifications is extreme. On the day 2,834 customers called, peaking at 165 calls in just 15 minutes. The other claims departments, management and business development colleagues all stepped in to answer all those calls.

Focus on empathy and useful advice

Imagine finding your home, company or car heavily damaged. People are confronted with unsafe conditions and probably haven’t got over the fright yet. They may have even tried to make repairs themselves or clear up debris. Our claims managers are well aware of their customers’ situation. Listening carefully to the customers’ story is key. We also try to give practical advice as to how to deal with the damage. Sometimes we can settle immediately, or we may arrange an advance. In many cases we arrange contractors for construction repairs, to support the customer.

Mobile improves efficiency

Today, assessing the damage remotely is made a lot easier, as claimants can send their photographs using their smartphones. Aiming for one-call completion, our claims managers try to obtain a complete picture of the loss during first notification. While on the phone they check policy cover and potential fraud indicators – the latter if the claim or claimant gives rise to such checks. This means that field adjusters only need to be involved in larger and more complex losses, which reduces average claim cycle times considerably.

Winter storm Friederike in Europe

The consequences of the storm are not limited to the Netherlands. In Germany (and the Netherlands) the storm was named Friederike, in Ireland it was named Fionn and in France David. Interestingly, the damaging gales remained unnamed in the UK. Van Ameyde’s offices in all these countries, as well as Belgium and Scandinavia, are working flat out to deal with all those additional claims.

Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses due to Friederike will range between 1.3 – 2.6 billion euros. The majority of these losses are expected in Germany, France, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Storm damage in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands the greater part of the losses concern residential and commercial property. However, the motor, marine and liability claims departments too are inundated with huge numbers of additional notifications.

According to the Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Verzekeraars) losses to homes and cars amount to at least 90 million euros. This estimate excludes government property, companies and agriculture. As to the corporate insurance market, VNAB (the Dutch Insurance Exchange Association) indicates a preliminary figure of 30 million euros. These amounts are expected to increase. Based on today’s figures, the storm is the third most expensive storm of this century so far.


Edwin Rijsdijk

Anders Grotte

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