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Many Europeans face the cost of flood cleanup and repair by themselves

Ronny Hartmann / AFP - Getty Images

Floodwater inundates Fischbeck, Germany, on June 10, 2013. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised rescue efforts on her third trip to water-logged regions Monday as central Europe grappled with historic floods that have killed at least 19 people.

Reuters reports

As insurers start counting the cost of devastating floods across central Europe, many of the region's businesses and households are not covered and will have to foot the bill themselves.

Nicolaus von Bomhard, chief executive of the world's largest reinsurer Munich Re, attributed under-insurance for flood risk in the worst affected areas to a legacy of insurers' past reluctance to offer services in the region.

"On the losses, I can't give any numbers, it's way too early, but the macroeconomic loss will be much bigger than the insured loss," he said at an insurance industry news conference on how insurers and governments could work to reduce the impact of natural disasters.

Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

A car is left on a flooded road near the swollen Elbe River during floods near Fischbeck, Germany, on June 10, 2013.

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