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Severe U.S. weather in May to cost insurers almost $3 billion: Aon Benfield

8th June 2017 - Author: Luke Gallin

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe risk modelling unit of reinsurance broker Aon Benfield, has reported that severe weather in the U.S. in May is expected to result in an insurance and reinsurance industry loss of nearly $3 billion.

Hailstone imageImpact Forecasting’s latest global catastrophe report shows that the majority of economic and insured losses from severe weather and catastrophe events in May, 2017 comes from the U.S., as a number of events are expected to result in an economic loss of more than $4 billion, with insurers and reinsurers expected to pay almost $3 billion.

Furthermore, assessments are ongoing for certain events so there is potential for both economic and insured loss estimates to increase further for the month of May, says Aon Benfield.

Central and eastern regions of the U.S. experienced a number of major, and intense outbreaks of severe weather, with the most prolific taking place in the greater Denver, Colorado metro region.

The impact of intense hailstorms and softball-sized hail resulted in insurance industry losses of $1.4 billion in the state of Colorado alone, and widespread severe weather was felt across many parts of the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic, explains the report.

Outside of the U.S. the arrival of the southwest monsoon and a tropical cyclone resulted in substantial flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka, with total economic losses estimated at just below $200 million. The floods claimed the lives of at least 213 people, says the report.

Impact Forecasting Associate Director and Meteorologist, Claire Darbinyan, commented; “With the onset of the annual monsoon season for many Asian nations, the events seen in the month of May provided a potential precursor to some of the impacts typically experienced in the region during the months of June, July, and August. The early monsoon rains were enhanced over Sri Lanka causing significant property damage and loss of life.

As catastrophe models become more prevalent in Asia, the re/insurance industry is better able to provide a clearer understanding of the risks that the flood peril increasingly poses in the region. The opportunity exists for the industry to engage with governments, communities and businesses to share their expertise to help mitigate the effects of such natural disasters.”

Elsewhere in the world during the month of May major flooding impacted parts of Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, and Indonesia, and a number of regions around the globe experienced substantial drought conditions, says the report.

Cyclone Mora was felt in Bangladesh and led to widespread flooding and wind damage, while intense thunderstorms caused damage in parts of Canada, Russia, China, and Bangladesh. 

Aon Benfield also reports that “Cyclone Donna became the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere during the month of May,” while moderate earthquakes were felt in both China and Iran during the month.

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