US weather losses exceed $1bn in January for insurers, according to Aon catastrophe report
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, today launches the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during January 2017. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).
The report reveals that multiple severe weather outbreaks killed 27 people in the United States during January, causing economic losses of more than USD1.0 billion, and insured losses minimally in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The most prolific event occurred during the second half of the month, most heavily impacting the states of Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. Thousands of homes, businesses and other structures were damaged or destroyed, and states of emergency were declared in Mississippi and Georgia.
The US National Weather Service preliminarily coed that at least 130 tornadoes touched down during the month – the highest number of January tornadoes since 1999, when 212 tornadoes touched down.
Additionally, consecutive winter storms brought extreme precipitation across the US West. The most significant damage was recorded in California due to flash flooding, mudslides and debris flows.
Total economic losses from the early January event were expected to approach USD700 million, while public and private insurance losses were listed around USD300 million.
Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, said: “January proved to be a highly active month for global natural hazards compared to recent years, especially when we look at the events in the US, where the powerful thunderstorms and winter storms had a devastating effect on people and communities, as well as causing a significant economic loss for country. Our Impact Forecasting team continues to evaluate such events globally to assist insurers to assess their exposures, and develops catastrophe models that help people to better understand and quantify the inherent risks.”
Other natural catastrophe events to have occurred worldwide during January include:
- The worst wildfires in Chile’s modern history killed at least 11 people, damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,500 structures and vehicles, and more than 420,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) of land nationwide. Preliminary damage and firefighting costs were listed at CLP570 billion (USD890 million).
- Exceptional rainfall in southern Thailand killed at least 96 people, and inundated as many as 585,000 homes and other structures. Total economic losses were estimated to reach or exceed THB30 billion (USD860 million).
- Severe flooding was also registered in Malaysia, where more than 25,000 people were evacuated in Terengganu and Kelantan states after widespread damage was noted. The government cited combined economic losses at MYR585 million (USD132 million).
- Other major flood events occurred in Peru, South Africa, Angola, China, Philippines, and French Polynesia.
- A stretch of bitterly cold Arctic air engulfed much of Europe during the first half of the month, killing at least 76 people.
- Windstorm Egon caused an estimated insurable damage of more than USD170 million across the UK, France and Germany.
- Severe winter storm events were recorded in the United States and Canada.
- A series of moderate earthquakes hit central Italy on January 18, resulting in damage and avalanches that led to at least 30 casualties.
To view the full Impact Forecasting January 2017 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link: http://aon.io/2kmrpel
Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available: www.aonbenfield.com/catastroph