FBD expects €8m hit from Storm Emma

Insurer has received ‘smaller number of higher-value claims’ than for usual storms

FBD said the number of claims as a result of Storm Emma was currently “levelling off”.

FBD said the number of claims as a result of Storm Emma was currently “levelling off”.

 

FBD Holdings, Ireland’s only publicly-quoted indigenous insurer, has said it expects to take a hit of up to €8 million in earnings hit from Storm Emma, the worst snowstorm to affect the country in decades.

In a trading statement issued after trading on the Irish Stock Exchange ended on Wednesday, FBD said that while it was too soon to “present an exact tally of both the final claim count and gross costs” of the storm, it estimated that the overall net cost would be between €6 million and €8 million.

“Storm Emma was the worst snow storm the country has seen since 1982 and an unusual weather event for Ireland,” said FBD chief executive Fiona Muldoon. “So far, for FBD, it has been characterised by a smaller number of higher-value claims than our more typical windstorms.”

Ms Muldoon said the benefit of the group’s catastrophe property reinsurance programme has served to limit the net impact of the storm on FBD’s income statement.

FBD said the number of claims was currently “levelling off” and that most of those submitted so far had come from the eastern and southern parts of the country.

FBD said late last month that its pretax profit surged to just under €50 million last month from €11.4 million in the previous year, on the back of a stronger insurance underwriting result and the release of some reserves set aside for prior-year claims. The group also announced at the time that it proposed paying its first dividend since 2014.

Meanwhile, Insurance Ireland, the representative body for the sector, has not yet finalised an estimate for the cost of Storm Emma for the wider industry.

The lobbying group estimated in November that the cost of Storm Ophelia, which hit Ireland in October, cost Irish insurers between €40 million and €50 million, typically as a result of a high volume of claims at a relatively low value. That event was characterised by a lot of wind damage and the absence of widespread flooding.