Infotech Cracked houses: insurers revise upwards the toll of the 2022 drought

Cracked houses: insurers revise upwards the toll of the 2022 drought

The damage caused to buildings by the episodes of drought observed in France in 2022 should cost between 1.9 and 2.8 billion euros, according to figures released on Monday, November 21 by France Assureurs, the federation of the profession. The previous estimate put the damage at between 1.6 and 2.4 billion euros.

Drought in France: the water war is declared

Unless it is at the bottom of the range, this summer’s drought should therefore exceed that of 2003, with its 2.12 billion euros in losses recorded, a record since the creation of the “Natural disasters” regime in 1982. .

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This estimate only includes damage located in municipalities whose state of natural disaster will be recognized, and which will then be considered as consecutive to the drought. It does not take into account crop damage, which will be covered by specific insurance.

A little-known danger

When a drought follows a period of humidification, a phenomenon of “shrinkage-swelling” of clay soils (RGA) occurs. The grounds “retract during periods of drought and then swell when the rains come. This variation in soil volume, increasingly marked due to climate change, leads to landslides that [déstabilisent] foundations of housesexplained “the Obs” in an investigation into this phenomenon which is gaining momentum.

“We are like trapped”: houses cracked due to droughts, a ticking time bomb

In France, approximately 54% of single-family homes are located in areas with average or high exposure to RGA. And 3.3 million homes, or about 16% of the total, are located in high risk areas.

This peril “is both the most dynamic in terms of development, particularly due to climate change, and the least known”according to Florence Lustman, president of France Assureurs, quoted in the report.

According to a study by the federation published in 2021, the drought in France cost 14 billion euros between 1989 and 2019 and is expected to cost around 43 billion between 2020 and 2050.

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