Insurers put tornado damage at CZK 3.6 billion as state offers support


Insurance companies in the Czech Republic estimate the damage caused by a devastating tornado last Thursday at CZK 3.6 billion. Meanwhile, businesses hit by the disaster can apply for special government aid.

A week after a freak tornado caused massive damage to a number of villages in South Moravia, insurers say they are already dealing with cases amounting to CZK 2.3 billion.

The Czech Insurance Association said there would be a total of up to 25,000 “insurance events”; to date over 11,000 claims have been filed.

Some CZK 50 million has already been paid out, on 1,700 insurance events, with half of that money taking the form of advance payments. Insurers say the expected average payout will reach CZK 144,000.

In the case of residents, claims will chiefly involve building insurance, where the estimated damage is CZK 1.8 billion. Reported damage to date stands at CZK 967 million.

A large number of motor vehicles – about 6,000 in total – are believed to have been damaged, with the insurance cost amounting to CZK 240 million. The average amount per vehicle is expected to be CZK 40,000.

When it comes to businesses, claims will mainly centre on property insurance. Damage to property is estimated at CZK 1.2 billion, with some CZK 1 billion already having been reported.

With regard to crops and livestock, insurers are putting the total damage at CZK 140 million and expect almost 400 individual claims.

Meanwhile the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade has begun accepting claims for compensation from business people under a special Tornado Assistance programme. Some CZK 200 million is available and applications can be made until the end of September.

Entrepreneurs will be able to draw support of up to CZK 1 million for renovation work or the purchase of new property. They will also be able to draw on a one-time handout of CZK 50,000 for clear-up operations.

Through the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (ČMZRB), entrepreneurs will be able to obtain an interest-free loan ranging from CZK 500,000 to CZK 45 million for investments.

Support from the Tornado Assistance programme is intended for entrepreneurs who had to curtail or halt their activities due to Thursday's storm.

Assistance is provided by joint mobile centres run by the state agency CzechInvest, the district chambers of commerce in Hodonín and Břeclav and the ČMZRB.

Thunderstorms, hailstones the size of tennis balls and a tornado of over 200 kilometers per hour hit the Břeclav and Hodonín districts in South Moravia last Thursday evening.

Moravská Nová Ves, Hrušky, Mikulčice, Lužice and Hodonín were the spots that suffered the most. Some 1,200 houses were damaged and six lives were lost.