Zurich Financial Services Group has forecast that it will pay out in the region of $100 million to satisfy claims connected to the recent severe floods in central Europe. However, the Swiss insurance provider is yet to determine its exposure to hurricane Katrina in the US.

In recent weeks heavy rain and the resultant flooding has caused major destruction and disruption in Switzerland, southern Germany and Austria. The calculation of $100 million in claims payments is based on preliminary estimates and is before tax and net of third party shares. In a press release, the company said charges for the European floods would be recorded in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Zurich has stated that it is not yet in a position to confirm by when reliable estimates of the claims arising from Hurricane Katrina can be made. Such estimates are difficult to compile for numerous reasons, including the initial damage in Florida and the sheer size of destruction in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In its press advisory, the insurer added that it continues to be very difficult for claims adjusters to access the areas affected.