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Large variations in the number of natural damage claims over the years

Natural event-related damages include damages that occur during extreme weather conditions such as storms, heavy rainfall, floods, landslides, and avalanches.

In 2021, over 24,000 natural event-related damages occurred in Sweden, covered by insurance, with the vast majority (17,000 damages) caused by water-related incidents such as floods and heavy rainfall. In total, insurance companies paid out over 2.7 SEK billion in compensation for natural event-related damages in 2021. This is the second-highest amount paid out in a single year since the storm called “Gudrun” in the county of Småland in 2005 when nearly 3.8 billion SEK were paid out to households and businesses for almost 93,000 damages. In 2021, the county of Gävleborg was particularly affected by damages caused by heavy rainfall resulting in floods.


Significant variation in the areas affected by natural event-related damages

Over time, it is expected that the number of natural event-related damages will increase as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. The number of natural event-related damages varies greatly, not only between years but also between different geographical areas. It can take a long time for one area to be affected again after experiencing such damages.

During the period 2015-2021, an average of 13,800 natural event-related damages occurred per year. These damages were caused by storms, floods, landslides, rockfalls, earthquakes, erosion, settlements due to lowered groundwater levels, hail, snow pressure, avalanches, and more. The cost of these damages amounted to over 5.9 billion SEK, averaging to over 844 million SEK per year. Since the number of natural event-related damages varies between years, the claims payments for property damages also vary.

In 2021, Gävleborg County was heavily affected by severe rainfall, leading to extensive flooding and damages to residential and commercial properties. Gävleborg County accounted for more than half (56 per cent) of the total claim costs in 2021. Stockholm County also experienced heavy rainfall and damages in the same year. Looking at the entire period from 2015 to 2021, the most affected regions after Gävleborg County are the three metropolitan counties: Stockholm County, Västra Götaland County, and Skåne County. As expected, the claims payments are highest in areas with a higher concentration of residential and other structures.

The municipalities with the highest claims payments for natural event-related damages in 2021 were Gävle Municipality, Stockholm Municipality, and Sandviken Municipality.