insurance companies are already preparing for future disasters

In a street in Blendecques (Pas-de-Calais), May 28, 2024. DENIS CHARLET / AFP

Summer has not yet started but Allan Turpin, mayor (without label) of Andres (Pas-de-Calais), is already preparing for autumn and winter: flooded several times since November 2023, his village of 1,500 inhabitants want to avoid new disasters. “I launch a complete diagnosis of the rainwater drainage network, underground or open airhe explains. And I responded to a call for applications to create flood expansion zones: the owners are ready to sell, I will try to shorten the deadlines to complete at least part of the project before November. »

Read the interview | Article reserved for our subscribers Floods in Pas-de-Calais: “There was an irresponsible policy of land artificialization”

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The countdown is therefore on, while a cool and wet spring has delayed the drying and therefore the restoration work in certain homes affected by the floods of the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. In Hauts-de -France, these repeated floods have led to the declaration of a state of natural disaster in more than 350 municipalities with 700,000 inhabitants.

The bill is not final but it has already reached 640 million euros, according to the statement published on June 12 by the Central Reinsurance Fund, the manager of the natural disaster compensation scheme (CatNat). For its part, the France Insurers federation recorded 39,000 claims between the beginning of November and the end of January in the region. Eight out of ten are “closed or almost closed”, she specifies, 85% of which have already been the subject of an expertise. Most of the files still open are awaiting the final invoice for the restoration work.

“Acceleration of these phenomena”

The north of the country is not the only region of France affected, far from it: the Central Reinsurance Fund has identified in 2023 around a hundred million euros of additional damage in Corsica, in the Charente region, in the center -east and the South-West. “And 2024 got off to a bad startnotes Hélène N’Diaye, deputy general director of Maif. In the first quarter, the estimated cost is higher than in previous years over the same period; it represents approximately twice as many files. »

The role of climate change is on everyone’s mind. “We have been witnessing an acceleration of these phenomena over the past ten years”says Christophe Gadouleau, national damage director of the Saretec expertise group, about the eight storms and fourteen episodes of flooding recorded in 2023. “The share of climate-related claims in our business has increased sixfold in ten years, from 5% to 30%. »

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