More than 180 people lost their lives in the flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in mid-July. Hundreds were injured. The floods have also caused billions in damage. A quarter of a year later, the number of people who have purchased insurance against these natural hazards has apparently increased only slightly.
Insurance against natural risks: an increase of three percent
If homeowners insure their four walls, in around 60 percent of cases they also take out what is known as natural hazard insurance to cover damage from flooding, for example. That is, for example, in the Nürnberger Versicherung, only a scant three percentage points higher than before the flood disaster.
Germans are reluctant to change their insurance habits
Despite the apparently low increase of three percent, the Nuremberg insurance company speaks of “continuously increasing inquiries”. It sounds similar at HUK Coburg and the comparison portal Check24. The reason for this interpretation: Germans are very reluctant to change their insurance habits, according to insurance industry expert Jutta Michel of the University of Coburg. Especially when it comes to voluntary insurance. In many cases, the flood disaster “feels far away” for people.
What insurance covers what?
Natural hazard insurance also covers flood damage. Normal home insurance, on the other hand, covers damage caused by storms or fire, for example. In general, not even one in two private buildings in Germany is insured against flood damage. In theory, however, around 99 percent of private buildings can be insured against natural hazards, according to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry.
Discussion about compulsory insurance
Even after the most recent flood disaster, a possible obligation to take out insurance was discussed again. Because if flood victims are not insured against natural hazards, the state usually steps in under a lot of public pressure to protect people from ruin. After flood damage in parts of Franconia and on the edge of the Alps, the Free State decided to halve emergency aid for flood victims if their buildings could have been insured at a reasonable price. . In Rhineland-Palatinate, on the other hand, the state had not linked emergency aid to the issue of insurance coverage.