Allianz Claims of $454M From Storm

Europe's largest insurer by gross premiums, Allianz, said Wednesday it expects claims of 350 million euros ($454 million) from the storm that hit Europe earlier this month.

The Jan. 18-19 storm, dubbed "Cyril" by German meteorologists, caused the death of nearly 50 people across Europe, with hurricane-force gusts causing disruptions to power and air and rail traffic.

Munich-based Allianz said it was responsible for damage claims from Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, but the majority of its claims were from Germany.

"We anticipate a total of some 230,000 claims. This amounts to net claims in the region of 180 million euros ($233.5 million)," Chief Executive Thomas Pleines said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, German reinsurer Hannover said it expects liabilities in the range of 120 million euros ($156 million) from the storm, estimating that the overall insured damage caused by the storm to be between 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) and 7 billion euros ($9.1 billion).

Reinsurance companies sell backup coverage to other insurers, spreading risk so the system can handle huge losses from major disasters.