Re/insurance broker Aon has estimated that insured catastrophe losses are likely to exceed $1 billion in March, following an active month for severe weather in the US.
Weather outbreaks in the US included hail, flooding and a total of 122 tornadoes, which was the highest monthly count since 2017. Of these, five were rated EF3 (four) or EF4 (one).
Aon estimates that the total US economic cost from March severe convective storms and flooding will approach $2 billion, with public and private insurers to assume more than half of these costs.
In addition to the tornadoes, which mainly impacted parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, large hail and damaging straight-line winds resulted in extensive property damage.
The storms also prompted significant flooding in parts of the Tennessee Valley after numerous river locations swelled beyond their banks.
Meanwhile, Windstorms Klaus and Luis affected parts of Western and Central Europe on March 10-13 with strong winds.
According to Aon, both storms caused moderate losses, with notable impacts in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern France and the UK, and local insurers reporting tens of thousands of claims.
“As we transition to the Northern Hemisphere spring months, this is typically a period where focus shifts to the severe convective storm season,” said Michal Lörinc, senior catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team.
“However, March is still a time where notable windstorms can affect Europe, and 2021 saw a quick succession of storms Klaus and Luis that left moderate physical damage impacts,” Lörinc added.
“While the 2020/21 European windstorm season was not abnormally costly, it remains a peril worth closely monitoring. Impact Forecasting continues deliver quantified real-time EU windstorm risk to clients through its Automated Event Response solution.”
In Australia, Aon also noted extensive flooding across eastern parts of the country during March, with economic losses estimated at $2 billion and insured losses thought to be around $410 million, with about 36,000 claims filed.
Additionally, persistent seasonal rains and severe weather continued to impact portions of western Colombia throughout the month, while heavy rain caused damaging flash floods in northwestern Algeria.