"We need a comprehensive concept against extreme weather"

Klaus Peter Röhler
Klaus Peter Röhler: "Our thoughts and support are with all those who have been affected by the floods in southern Germany and especially with those who have lost family members. Every death in a natural disaster is one too many. As one of the largest building and motor insurers in southern Germany, we are working with all our strength and expertise to improve the situation for those affected as quickly as possible. 

Just three years after the Ahr Valley flood, we are witnessing another major flooding disaster in Germany. The question about compulsory insurance in Germany has now come up again. The solution, however, does not lie in a single, isolated compulsory insurance program. Such a program would not have prevented a single loss. It lacks solidarity and it is undemocratic because it takes away customers' freedom of choice. At Allianz, we offer a natural hazard protection option with each residential building policy - a voluntary opt-out must always be possible. 

We believe that extreme weather events will increase in intensity and frequency as a result of climate change. We therefore need a comprehensive concept against natural hazards that is based on three building blocks: prevention and protective measures to adapt to the effects of climate change, insurance cover calculated on a risk-adjusted basis and state support in the event of extreme disasters. 

Damage to buildings can be prevented or at least reduced if we increase social risk awareness and implement comprehensive prevention and protection measures against flooding. These include higher and stronger dams, but also construction bans in flood areas, a requirement for water-resistant building materials and better flood protection systems. 

Every citizen should know the individual risk situation for their house or apartment and check the various insurance options. With the Allianz home risk assessment, we offer the possibility to determine the individual risk of natural hazards based on the building address and to receive specific checklists. Via the Allianz severe weather warning, an AI-based solution, our customers can also receive weather warnings by SMS, along with tips for preventive measures.

As an insurance organization, we continue to see it as our duty to ensure the insurability of buildings, even in times of climate change. We expect that the severity of damage will continue to increase. Also conceivable are rare catastrophic scenarios that could exceed the capacity of the insurance industry and require state instruments. We support GDV's* position of limiting the impact on the market in the event of extreme natural catastrophes through so-called stop-loss regulations (occurrence of a 200-year loss or higher). This will also ensure that the necessary preventive measures are finally tackled with the necessary urgency. 

Switzerland successfully shows us how climate impact adaptation, risk-adequate offers from insurers and support from the state in the form of a private partnership can be effectively combined. This is the only way we can break the spiral of increasing losses from climate risks and extreme weather events and rising premiums in Germany, too.

*Gesamtverband der Versicherer (Association of German Insurers)
The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 746 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage about 1.8 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2023, over 157,000 employees achieved total business volume of 161.7 billion euros and an operating profit of 14.7 billion euros for the group.
* Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of March 31, 2024.
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:
When the water recedes, the work begins

The flood disaster in southern Germany is likely to be quite expensive for insurance companies. On the road with an Allianz claims adjuster who hands out money by the hour and becomes a psychologist in between.

"We need a comprehensive concept against extreme weather"

The current flooding in southern Germany has brought the discussion about possible compulsory insurance back into focus. Klaus Peter Roehler, member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE, explains Allianz's view.

Floods: Interview with Lucie Bakker

Due to the heavy rainfall last weekend, several regions in southern Germany have been severely impacted by flooding. Allianz has taken various measures to quickly provide the best possible assistance. Lucie Bakker, Head of Claims at Allianz Versicherungs-AG, gave an initial assessment of the situation.