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Insurance: can the list of natural disasters be changed?

To what extent should France’s natural disaster compensation regime be revised in light of the risks of a changing climate? The debate began after the exceptional climatic events that affected several regions of France since the beginning of autumn.

Storms Ciaran and Domingos have caused about 517,000 claims, for a total amount that currently stands at €1.3 billion, according to France Assureurs, the French federation of insurance companies. It is too early to give an exact count in Pas-de-Calais, but the flood and flood bill will undoubtedly be in the hundreds of millions of euros.

Almost 275 municipalities in Hauts-de-France will be classified as a natural disaster. The resulting damage is partially covered by the Cat Nat regime, a public-private partnership that compensates for natural risk cover gaps, through the public reinsurer CCR.

No cat for Natty Brittany or channel

For the Pas de Calais floods, the classification of these events is naturally logical: floods are part of the hazards covered by the cat nat regime, such as ground movements, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, droughts since 1989 or even cyclones and hurricanes for overseas territories.

On the other hand, the regime created in 1982 does not apply to storms, hail and snow. No “cata natti”, respectively, for the municipalities of Brittany or the Channel, which were affected by the storm “Ciaran” at the beginning of November – an emergency fund of 50 million euros has been created for this.

If the 2023 bill for insurers for recent exceptional climate events is still far from the 1999 bill (€13.8 billion for hurricanes Lothar and Martin), climate evolution poses a threat. raising fears of an explosion and prompting some to question the scope of the disaster regime.

“Unsuitable” nets

The transition minister for the environment, Christophe Bechu, chose in any case to open the debate: in an interview on Thursday, November 16 on France 2, he judged. “unfit” Current ranking grids. And the next day at Inter in France, he insulted it “For historical reasons, a hurricane in mainland France cannot be a natural disaster, while a cyclone in overseas territories can be”To conclude that he “It has to change”.

The comments have surprised some insurers, who point out that there is still time to cover the loss. “Bringing this topic open at this time likely suggests that certain climate perils, because they do not fall under the Cat Nat regime, are not covered by insurance contracts. This is false: Storm damage is covered! »– says General Director of France Assureurs Franck Le Valois.

Source: Le Monde



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