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At least €2 billion in damages claimed for floods in Wallonia

Floods in Wallonia (c) Belga
21:22 14/02/2022

Claims for compensation related to last summer’s devasting floods in Wallonia amount to €2.052 billion, according to latest figures given by Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo.

Around 57,000 claims have been submitted to insurers and 26,000 have been closed, Le Soir reports. 

Di Rupo’s data comes from Assuralia, the Professional Association of Insurance Companies that represents almost all Belgian and foreign insurance companies operating on the Belgian market.

Wallonia as a region is also providing support to victims of the floods in order to reach 100% compensation in alignment with the insurance contracts and expert reports, using a dedicated budget of €990 million.

The €2.052 billion in damages covered by simple risk insurance includes compensation already paid and estimates in progress, with claims alone exceeding the one billion mark (€1.046 billion). 

The Walloon government and insurers are planning to meet again in the likely scenario that the compensation payments reach €1.5 billion and/or if the estimates reach €1.7 billion. The financial burden between the public and private sectors will then be the subject of new negotiations. 

The Walloon government agreed in September to also support households without insurance, though that intervention will be partial so as not to encourage people to forgo purchasing insurance. 

The region will only assist with compensation of up to 50% of the damage, with a ceiling of €80,000.

The Walloon Disaster Fund has received a total of 5,700 applications for intervention, many of which are incomplete, says Di Rupo. 

Another major difficulty lies in finding experts capable of carrying out the sheer amount of work that needs to be done, he adds.

The fatal floods in July 2021 were recognised by the Walloon government as a natural public disaster.

Photo: Françoise Peiffer/Belga

Written by Helen Lyons