July 9 - Floods in central Europe last month may cost insurance companies $3.5-4.5 billion, only half of one previous estimate but more than was paid out for the last major washout in 2002. Joanna Partridge reports.
4.5 billion dollars is today's daily digit - the estimated cost of last month's floods in central Europe. Swiss Re believes insurance companies will have to pay more than they did for the last major washout in 2002. Heavy rainfall in early June drenched Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic causing widespread damage. Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland were also hit, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Munich Re - the world's biggest reinsurer - also believes the floods could break records. One senior official says they may have been Germany's costliest natural disaster on record. The only good news is the $3.5 - $4.5 billion figure is far less than one previous estimate which suggested losses would top $8 billiion