The rising Seine River has caused water to rush overland and this flooding is expected to be very costly.
The government of France has declared the flooding of the Seine to be a national disaster today, which has laid the path for flood insurance companies to begin the process for claims filings and payments for their policyholders.
The Seine River has started to recede after having reached its highest level, making assessments possible.
Flood insurance companies met with the French government this week to help to assess the damage left behind by the Seine’s floodwaters when the river rose beyond its banks. Those waters have now started to recede from when they reached their highest point, opening the opportunity for adjusters to have a look at the damage that was left behind.
According to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, there is an emergency fund that the country has available in order to provide assistance to the people who have been left homeless as a result of the Seine’s floodwaters. The river rose tremendously following extremely heavy rains that affected several countries in Europe.
It will take time before flood insurance companies are able to conduct a full assessment of the damage.
That said, government officials and French insurance companies have been working to try to come up with estimates that will allow them to better understand what they should expect people and businesses to need over coming days, weeks and months.
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The Minister of State for Victim Assistance, Juliette Meadel recently predicted that “The cost may be higher” than what French media had previously been forecasting. It had been estimated that the flooding could bring insured damages to $1.3 billion. However, Meadel feels that the final total could be considerably greater than that initial prediction.
The AFA, the French insurance industry association, had been estimating that the costs would come to around $680 million. That said, Figaro, a Paris newspaper, said that one of the largest insurers in the country, Maif, had been expecting $2.6 billion in damages.
The country’s finance minister, Michel Sapin, stated that he believed that the costs faced by individuals, businesses and flood insurance companies would not end up causing significant harm to the national economy.