Institute MeteoLux, the Luxembourgian meteorological institute, reported that:
- Torrential rains on 14 and 15 July 2021 broke two monthly rainfall records.
- The maximum precipitation in 12 hours and 24 hours reached accumulations of 74.2 mm and 79.4 mm, respectively, breaking the previous records set on 22 July 2016 of 60.4 mm and 70.6 mm.1
Emergency services received more than 1,000 calls for help and more than 150 people were evacuated from their homes. No fatalities were reported.
Days after the floods, the Luxembourg Government Council announced an aid package worth EUR 50 million would be made available to support victims of the flood. This amount was meant to reimburse damages not covered by insurers. The package included financial assistance for households, businesses and municipalities, but also allowed affected companies to apply for reimbursement of employee wages.2 Infrastructural repairs were covered as well. In August 2021, the government pledged to double the aid package to EUR 100 million if required.3
Impact on insurers
- Fire insurance covered damages to houses and buildings, but only in zones which are classified as "at risk."
- Luxembourgian insurance broadly covers floods including backup of public sewers, overflows of watercourses following atmospheric precipitation, landslides and subsidence of land due to rain.
- Flood damage to cars is only covered by all-risk car insurance policies.
Total estimated insured damage is more than EUR 120 million, making this extreme weather event the costliest disaster for insurers in Luxembourg’s history. More than 6,000 homes and 1,000 cars were damaged. Most of the cars were destroyed beyond repair.4
Outlook for the future
In June 2021, the Luxembourgian government published its second flood risk management plan, which focusses on flood prevention, protection and preparedness, and invites citizens to comment.
The plan’s primary objectives are to increase awareness among citizens at risk of floods and to ensure that appropriate precautionary measures are taken.5 To that end, Luxembourg provides a national portal for government geodata and services, which includes flood risk per geographical zone. Earlier, the government had launched a website that provides a permanent flow of measured water levels and forecasts of watercourses in Luxembourg, as well as additional alerts and information during flood warning times.6 The government concluded however that the alert system could be improved following the floods in July 2021.7
For questions or more information on country-specific climate change and risk management, contact the author listed here or your usual Milliman consultant.
1 Floodlist (17 July 2021). Luxembourg: Dozens Evacuated After Record Rainfall Causes Rivers to Break Banks. Retrieved 11 March 2022 from https://floodlist.com/europe/luxembourg-floods-july-2021.
2 Chronicle.lu (16 July 2021). Luxembourg Declares Natural Disaster, Announces €50m in Aid for Flood Victims. Retrieved 11 March 2022 from https://chronicle.lu/category/at-home/37224-luxembourg-declares-natural-disaster-announces-eur50m-in-aid-for-flood-victims.
3 RTL Today (25 August 2021). Government doubles flood aid to €100 million; Covid situation stable. Retrieved 11 March 2022 from https://today.rtl.lu/news/luxembourg/a/1776065.html.
4 ACA (21 July 2021). 120 millions € de dommages suite aux inondations : la catastrophe la plus coûteuse de l’histoire de l’assurance luxembourgeoise. Retrieved 11 March 2022 from https://www.aca.lu/media/60fa5ae43a0b7_cp_aca_inondations_2021_2.pdf.
5 The Luxembourg Government (24 June 2021). Strategies and measures to be better prepared for river and/or flash floods. Retrieved 13 March 2022 from https://eau.gouvernement.lu/fr/actualites.gouvernement%2Bfr%2Bactualites%2Btoutes_actualites%2Bcommuniques%2B2021%2B06-juin%2B24-strategie-inondations.html.
6 Administration de la gestion de l'eau. FLOOD PREDICTION CENTER LUXEMBOURG. Retrieved 23 March 2022 from https://www.inondations.lu/.
7 Luxembourg Times. Report into July flooding urges public alert system upgrade. Retrieved 23 March 2022 from https://www.luxtimes.lu/en/luxembourg/report-into-july-flooding-urges-public-alert-system-upgrade-6160090bde135b9236a30494.