In 2021, Germany was hit by a flood disaster and strong storms – but the damage was very unevenly distributed regionally.

The natural catastrophes of the past year hit four federal states in particular: over 90 percent of the insured losses occurred in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

This is the result of an evaluation by the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV). In absolute figures, the storm “Bernd”, hail and other storms in these four countries caused 11.4 billion of the 12.7 billion euros in damage nationwide. For insurers, 2021 was the year with the most expensive natural catastrophe losses in Germany to date.

But the damage was very unevenly distributed regionally. Because the other twelve federal states got off comparatively lightly with a total of 1.3 billion insured losses. In the four countries hit particularly hard, the damage exceeded the billion mark. In NRW alone, the insurers bore costs of 5.5 billion euros. In Rhineland-Palatinate it was just under 3 billion, in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg a good 1.4 billion each. In the other twelve federal states, the amount of damage was less than 300 million euros, in Bremen at the end of the table it was only seven million.

This GDV balance sheet summarizes the damage to houses and household goods, commercial and industrial companies as well as cars and other motor vehicles. According to GDV, the long-term average of natural catastrophe losses in Germany is 3.8 billion euros.

“As a result of climate change, we will have to expect more and more extreme weather and serious damage in the future,” said Managing Director Jörg Asmussen. The insurers are therefore calling for “climate change adaptation” to reduce future damage. Specifically, this means, among other things, building bans in areas at risk of flooding.