Natural disaster insurance in France

The average annual cost of natural catastrophe claims in France continues to soar, jumping from 1.2 billion EUR during the period 1984-1989 to 3.6 billion EUR during the years 2006-2020.

Evolution of the average cost of natural disaster claims in France

PeriodAverage annual cost
1984-19891,2 billion EUR
1990-2009 (1)2 billion EUR
2010-20192,8 billion EUR
2016-20203,6 billion EUR

(1) Excluding the Lothar and Martin storms of 1999, which cost 12 billion EUR (cost in constant euros at the end of 2019)

From 2010 to 2019, the year 2017 was marked by a record loss experience. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which hit the French West Indies, significantly worsened the loss ratio of this class of business which was set at 181.6%, while the combined ratio reached an all-time high of 201.4%.

The upward trend in natural catastrophe claims continued in 2018, 2019 and 2020. It is characterized by the recurrence of severe droughts, which cost insurers more than 600 million EUR per year, and by the high frequency of devastating floods. The bill will, therefore, amount to 2.2 billion EUR in 2019 (+46% compared with 2018) and 3.1 billion EUR in 2020 (+41%).

France: main highlights of the natural disaster class of business (2010-2020)

In millions EUR
Natural disaster premiums (1)
1 3511 4181 4861 5201 5551 5831 5931 6041 6231 6731700
Incurred losses
14006008006008001 0001 3002 9001 5002 2003100
Gross loss ratio
Management expenses ratio
Gross combined ratio

(1) Floods, droughts, earthquakes
NA: Not available

Seine flood
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