19 February 2022, by Victoria Séveno

According to a recent report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), extreme weather caused hundreds of billions of euros’ worth of damage across Europe between 1980 and 2020, with the Netherlands recording around 9,6 billion euros of damage, more than half of which was covered by insurance.

Up to 520 billion euros of financial damage across Europe 

The EEA reports that, over a 40-year period, severe weather conditions such as flooding, forest fires, and heatwaves caused between 450 and 520 billion euros’ worth of damage across the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Turkey. According to the EEA, around 3 percent of all weather events were responsible for approximately 60 percent of the total economic losses reported across the continent.

Data also reveals that Europe tallied between 85.000 and 145.000 fatalities. The EEA found that over 85 percent of all recorded fatalities were a consequence of heatwaves, with the 2003 heatwave alone accounting for between 50 and 75 percent of all deaths. 

Extreme weather damage and fatalities in the Netherlands

While Germany recorded the highest overall economic damage, Switzerland saw the highest per-capita losses. The Netherlands fared better than both Germany and Switzerland, but the country’s calculated losses between 1980 and 2020 still amounted to almost 10 billion euros. The country also recorded between 1.700 and 3.900 deaths.

While across the continent only around 23 percent of total losses were covered by insurance, the EEA found that, at 55 percent coverage, the Netherlands had one of the highest levels of insured economic losses. Over 4,5 billion euros’ worth of damage was covered by Dutch insurance companies.

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