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Severe snowfall in Spain leads to multi-billion economic loss: Aon

10th February 2021 - Author: Charlie Wood

Reinsurance broker Aon has launched its latest edition of its monthly global catastrophe recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during January 2021.

Aon logoThe report reveals that a low-pressure system ‘Filomena,’ caused severe snowfall in Spain, leading to business interruption and property losses tentatively estimated at nearly EUR1.8 billion ($2.2 billion).

Insurance payments in the agricultural sector, along with flood-related property claims, only reached into the tens of millions EUR.

In the United States, an atmospheric river and low-pressure system impacted the Pacific Northwest, Intermountain West and Northern Plains between January 11-14.

Intense wind and rain resulted in total economic losses estimated at $525 million, amid widespread power outages, flash flooding, landslides, downed trees and property damage.

Strong high wind events impacted central and southern California between January 17-20. Wind gusts across the Sacramento Valley, Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles reached 60 to 70 mph (95 to 115 kph), with maximum gusts at higher elevations topping 90 mph (145 kph).

Total losses were estimated at $350 million, with more than 50% covered by public and private insurers.

Michal Lörinc, catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “While the European Windstorm season to-date has been relatively calm in comparison to peak loss years, winter Storm Filomena brought wintry conditions and cold temperatures not seen in Spain in two decades.

“Winter weather is not often a primary driver of annual financial losses, but the level of direct and indirect disruption due to extreme freeze or excessive snowfall can lead to notable commercial and supply chain challenges.”

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