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US wildfires, hurricanes drive insured hit into billions for September: Aon

9th October 2020 - Author: Charlie Wood

Wildfires across the US west coast, hurricane Sally and tropical storm Beta all featured in Aon’s global catastrophe report for September, generating a cost to insurers that will fall in the billions of the dollars.

Aon logoFive of California’s six largest fire events since 1932 were recorded in August and September alone, along with five of the state’s top 20 most destructive fires on record.

Aon says total direct economic costs from the fires across California, Oregon and Washington were likely to reach well into the billions of dollars, resulting in a multi-billion-dollar payout for insurers.

At least eight fatalities and several injuries were reported as a result of hurricane Sally, which came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16 as a Category 2 storm.

Total economic losses were estimated beyond $5 billion, while public and private insurance losses exceeded $2.5 billion.

Tropical Storm Beta bought heavy rainfall and flash flooding to coastal Texas and Louisiana, with the total economic losses estimated to exceed $100 million.

in China, seasonal monsoon flooding persisted, killing 278 people and causing damage and destruction to more than 1.4 million houses.

Aon notes that the total combined economic losses were likely to exceed $32 billion, an insured figure was not stated.

“The third quarter is historically the costliest of the year given the peak of tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Basins,” said Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon.

“While September did result in notable storm landfalls in the United States, Belize, South Korea, and Portugal, the re-emergence of the wildfire peril captured a significant number of headlines.

“Historic fires from the perspective of structures lost and acres burned left a lasting impact in the Western United States.

“The wildfires, which were amplified by hot and dry weather in combination with abundant available fuel, ensured a record sixth consecutive multi-billion-dollar payout year for global insurers with this peril.

“This comes as the industry continues to put more focus on the increased annual costs arising from secondary perils.”

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