Drought and heat: the Association of Insured calls for compulsory insurance for natural hazards

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The drought in Germany can also be clearly seen from the water levels in the Rhine.

The Federation of Insured (BdV) considers a collective compulsory system necessary when it comes to natural hazards. Drought and the risk of fire made it clear once again that not all damage is covered by homeowners’ insurance.

The mandatory system that the BdV is aiming for should be provided by the federal states together with the insurance industry as a pool solution and financed by a surcharge on the property tax.

According to the BdV, the risk of fires is also increasing in Germany, as the current fires in Berlin’s Grunewald forest are drastically showing. If a fire spreads to houses, homeowners insurance or household contents insurance will cover the damage. Damage to the house caused by lightning or overvoltage caused by lightning is also covered under residential building or household contents insurance.

Homeowners insurance pays for repairs or, in the worst case, even for the construction of a new building at new value. “Homeowners’ insurance is indispensable for property owners, because the costs of reconstruction can put them in financial difficulties,” says Bianca Boss, board member at the Bund der Verversicherungten e. V. (BdV).

But dangers lurk in other respects as well – due to the long dry period in many regions, there is a risk of heat storms and floods, since the parched soil cannot absorb the water fast enough. If this water then flows above ground into the basement or living rooms, simple residential building insurance does not cover such damage. This requires an extension of the insurance cover to so-called natural hazards, which must be taken out in addition to residential building and household contents insurance. According to the BdV, natural hazard insurance also makes sense for tenants, especially if they have expensive household items and/or do not have sufficient financial reserves to buy new furniture, clothing and household items in the event of a claim.

However, if water rises into the basement due to a flooded sewage system, such damage caused by so-called weather-related backflow from the sewage system is usually not covered by the insurer if there is no functioning backflow valve.