7 July 2017Insurance

Severe weather outbreaks in US drive June insured losses

Worldwide economic and insured losses during the month of June were once again largely driven by several major severe weather outbreaks in the US, according to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap report by Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team.

Large hail, tornado touchdowns, straight-line winds and isolated flash flooding all contributed to an aggregated economic loss that was expected to exceed $3 billion. Of that total, public and private insurance entities were expected to minimally cover at least $2 billion.

The most significant event from a financial perspective occurred on June 11 across parts of the Upper Midwest, where a series of powerful and fast-moving thunderstorms left a trail of damage in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Among the hardest-hit areas was the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region, where substantial wind and hail damage affected homes, businesses, and vehicles. Insurance payouts from this event alone were likely to approach $1 billion; while the overall economic cost was estimated at around $1.4 billion.

Adam Podlaha, global head of Impact Forecasting, said: “Costly impacts resulting from severe convective storms were not solely confined to the United States in the month of June. Parts of Europe – notably Germany – incurred a significant cost resulting from large hail as the industry continues to get a better handle on using catastrophe models to further understand impacts from the peril. Lightning was also the primary cause of several major wildfires in South Africa; expected to result in one of the costliest payouts for a natural disaster in the local industry’s history.”

Meanwhile, major flooding impacted at least nine provinces in southern China during June, killing at least 31 people and impacting more than 130,000 homes. The catastrophe was caused by torrential downpours associated with the annual Mei-yu rains. China’s official Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) listed aggregated economic losses at more than USD2.4 billion, which resulted in the flooding becoming the costliest individual global natural catastrophe in the month of June.

Overall, flood and convective storm events cost global economy more than $5bn in June, according to the report.

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