The latest global catastrophe recap report from insurance and reinsurance broker, Aon, reveals that insurers and reinsurers are set to pay out more than $1 billion in losses from natural disaster events that occurred in the month of April 2019.
Aon’s April, global catastrophe recap report highlights an extremely active month for U.S. tornado activity. Almost 250 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. in April, the most witnessed in the month since 2011.
According to Aon, the first of two major tornado outbreaks hit the southern and eastern sections of the U.S. from April 13th to April 15th, and was marked by 70 tornado touchdowns, significant hailstorms and intense winds, primarily impacting Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Aon states that total economic losses from this event were estimated at up to $925 million, with insurers expected to cover roughly $700 million of this total.
The second major tornado outbreak of the month hit the central and eastern sections of the U.S. between April 17th and April 19th, and was comprised of at least 96 tornadoes. Economic losses are expected to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, with most of this being covered by insurance.
An outbreak of severe thunderstorms in early April also hit the U.S., bringing devastation across the Southeast over April 5th to April 8th, resulting in economic losses of roughly $250 million and insured losses of roughly $190 million.
Four other storms also hit the U.S. during the month of April, each expected to result in economic losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Outside of the U.S., Canada experienced rising temperatures combined with heavy rainfall in the second-half of the month, with total economic losses expected to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars, much of which is expected to be uninsured owing to low levels of flood insurance penetration.
Flooding also occurred in Brazil in April while severe winter weather also hit Colombia, bringing heavy rains and subsequent landslides. Parts of Europe were also hit by flooding in April, as were parts of Africa and Asia. Furthermore, parts of Asia also experienced wildfires, earthquakes, and severe weather.
“April is often defined by severe convective storms across North America. While thunderstorms produced notable tornado, hail, and non-tornadic wind damage in the United States, there was particular focus on widespread flooding in the U.S. and Canada. The multi-billion-dollar uninsured cost of the flood events – including those in the Missouri, Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Ottawa, and Saint John River Basins – has once again exposed the existing protection gap within mature insurance markets for a specific peril.
“Determining best practice approaches to understand flood risk and further encourage insurance take-up should help lower this gap and minimize the financial burden on affected residents,” said Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team.