8 August 2013Insurance

Canada impacted by second billion-dollar loss event

The record rainfall experienced in the greater Toronto metropolitan region, resulted in Canada’s second billion-dollar natural disaster event of 2013 – the first being an extensive flood event that inundated the province of Alberta in June, according to a report by Aon Benfield’s catastrophe modelling centre, Impact Forecasting.

“Total economic losses were estimated at C$ 1.5 billion ($1.45 billion), with an expectation that roughly half of that cost will be covered by insurance (C$ 750 million ($730 million),” said the report.

Meanwhile, three stretches of severe weather impacted the United States during the month, comprising highly damaging straight-line winds and hail, according to the report, which estimated that total combined economic and insured losses were expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

“With the calendar turning into August, the focus in the United States begins to shift from tornadoes to hurricanes as we begin to enter the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season,” said Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting. “The US remains in a record stretch without a major hurricane landfall (Category 3+), though recent history with Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Ike shows that storms with weaker intensities can still cause catastrophic damage. Historical averages suggest that the US is overdue for a major hurricane landfall, and we’ll watch to see what the rest of the 2013 season brings.”

The report also observed that Asia was hit with severe rainfall and three sizeable earthquakes.

“A magnitude-5.9 earthquake occurred in China’s Gansu Province, killing at least 95 people, injuring 2,840 others, and causing total economic losses at Rmb 20 billion ($3.25 billion) according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), with an estimated 80,000 homes damaged or destroyed,” said the report.

“Also in Asia, a magnitude-6.1 earthquake impacted Indonesia’s Aceh Province, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 2,362 others. The heaviest damage was recorded in the districts of Bener Meriah and Central Aceh, where a combined 16,019 homes and 626 public facilities were damaged or destroyed.”

Asia also experienced a magnitude-6.5 earthquake in New Zealand and three tropical cyclones during July, the costliest being Super Typhoon Soulik, which caused $460 million in economic damages after making landfall in Taiwan and China.

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