Meteo Protect Launches New Insurance for River Businesses

Paris, France – 16 April 2018: Following extreme precipitation from December through February of this year, and subsequent flooding of rivers across France, including most famously the Seine, Lloyd’s coverholder Meteo Protect has launched a new weather insurance product designed specifically for river cruise boats and riverside businesses.

Seine River floods in Paris, June 2016. Photo credit; Under CC BY-SA 2.0

The highest levels of precipitation for the period December through January in over 40 years led to flooding on rivers across France, including the Seine, Marne, Yonne, Rhone and Saone rivers. The French government recognized more than 275 communes in a state of natural disaster, in order that those with damage insurance for their property (housing, vehicle, etc.) be eligible for compensation. The French Federation of Insurance estimates that material damage from the floods is expected to comprise 30,000 claimants for a total indemnification of up to 200 million euros. This is the most severe flooding since extreme rainfall affected the northern half of France in May and June 2016, causing insured damage of 1.4 billion euros.

However, river flooding can cause significant losses in revenues not covered by traditional insurance solutions. Many businesses suffer a partial or complete cessation of business activity during flooding periods due to bridges being too low for certain boats to pass, quays being closed so boats and businesses are inaccessible, and even all river navigation being prohibited.

“This year’s flooding was significant for how long it affected economic activity generated along France’s main rivers,” explains Gabriel Gross, CEO of Meteo Protect. “As for our agricultural clients, persistent losses caused by adverse weather conditions can spell the end of businesses that do not have the reserves to offset such losses. Our parametric weather solutions are customizable to protect these weather sensitive businesses beyond the limits of traditional insurance.”

The parametric insurance solutions designed by Meteo Protect compensate for the losses incurred by river boat operators and riverside businesses as a result of flooding. Insurance coverage is based on a weather index, that being the number of days when the level of the river has risen above of certain height (referred to as “critical days”). The river boat operator or riverside business defines the period of coverage, the compensation per critical day, and the limit of compensation, according to their specific risk profile.

Meteo Protect’s underwriting and pricing platform aggregates weather-related data, analyses risks, and provides a quote, all in real time. Index-based weather insurance is designed to compensate the losses incurred through adverse weather conditions. Unlike traditional insurance, indemnification is simple and automatic, requiring no field loss assessment, deductible or adjustment.