Insights •Insurance• 05.09.2017 • Presented by AXA Luxembourg
(Photo : Axa Luxembourg)
Waves of cold in Eastern Europe... Heat waves in the Mediterranean... The South of France turned into an inferno and the Paris metro into a swimming pool... You are aware of it: the weather does its own thing. And Luxembourg? Is it sheltered from this? Not sure... A piece of advice to protect yourself from climatic events!
The price of Mother Nature’s anger
Whether they’re called Debby, Lucifer or Xynthia, storms, heat waves, and waves of cold destroy everything in their path. And it’s expensive: these natural disasters caused $175 billion loss worldwide in 2016, less than a third of which were covered by insurance companies.
Closer to home, storms in France and Germany from late May to early June 2017 cost almost $6 billion.
It doesn’t just happen to others
Those who were in Luxembourg last year remember... Our Grand Duchy was not spared by the devastating storms of 2016! On 22 July 2016, torrential rain struck central and eastern parts of the country, causing flooding that paralysed several districts and caused severe damage to properties.
The human factor
When we speak of a “natural catastrophe”, we think of global warming as the main cause, because this is known to cause major upheavals. Fair enough. However, other factors combine to produce these large-scale disasters: a low level of knowledge and awareness among the population, as well as infrastructure (buildings and land management) that is not adapted to the risk.
It doesn’t just happen to others! How to guard against these growing risks
According to the Water Management Authority, “flood risk is the top natural hazard in Luxembourg, both in the extent of the damage that it causes and by the number of municipalities concerned”. It is therefore important to know how to protect yourself.
Indeed, ‘flood areas’ located on the edge of watercourses are not the only areas at risk. Anywhere in Luxembourg unpredictable torrential rains can also be the cause of floods or landslides just like in July 2016. Meteorologists also predict a rise in these phenomena in the future.
Tip 1: Check out the zone. Before moving or building a new house, take steps to find out whether your land or property is in a flood zone. Note that the Water Management Authority manages a map on its site allowing you to visualise these zones
Any new construction located in flood zone “HQ10” (one flood every 10 years on average) or "HQ100" (one flood every century on average) is subject to authorisation from the Water Management Authority. This permission is required and the architect must conform to the recommendations issued.
Be vigilant, as not respecting the recommendations could put you in default of flood insurance coverage.
Tip 2: Protect yourself. Remember, less than a third of incidents that occurred in the world in 2016 were insured and Luxembourg is no exception. It is advisable to take out ‘flood’ insurance, regardless of the area in which you reside. Please note that AXA's "Rains & Floods" cover protects you against water overflows, water run-off due to lack of soil absorption, landslides and subsidence due to rain, and backflows from sewers.
Tip 3: Stay tuned for the weather forecast. By visiting meteolux.lu you have access to forecasts of future meteorological and atmospheric hazards. You also have the option to subscribe to receive daily alerts by text or email. This also includes ‘raw’ alerts, which are very useful if you live near a watercourse!
Tip 4: The first level of security. Cellars and rooms on the ground floor are the priority places. Before going on holiday or at weekends, automatically think of raising everything that you consider valuable!
 Source: L’Union sociale pour l’habitat, 22/11/2015