Hail in Venray, Limburg on 23 June 2016 (Photo: @SuperSaartje/Twitter) - Credit: Hail in Venray, Limburg on 23 June 2016 (Photo: @SuperSaartje/Twitter)
Summer storms drop insurer Achmea in financial trouble
The heavy rain and hailstorms that hit the Netherlands over the past weeks are leading to massive costs for insurer Achmea. The insurer estimates that its clients submitted about 260 million euros in damage claims so far - enough that Achmea expects to end the first half of this year in the red, ANP reports. Achmea can recover some of the water and hail damage to farmers and gardeners, because the company is re-insured. But even with that, the net claims incurred by the storms amount to some 140 million euros. Another troubling factor for Achmea, also a major health insurer, is the fact that healthcare spending increased faster than expected over recent months. All in all the insurer therefore expects a "limited negative operating result" for the first six months of 2016. Massive storms late last month caused havoc for the agriculture and horticulture sectors, especially in Noord-Brabant and Limburg. Not only was there large amounts of water damage due to heavy rains, but fist-sized hailstones also destroyed greenhouses, roofs and cars. The total damage caused by the storms in those provinces is estimated to be around 1 billion euros, Patrick van der Broeck, deputy of Limburg, said last week.