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Aon Benfield: Thai Floods Could Cost Insurers $10 Billion or More

Source: Aon

Posted on 08 Dec 2011

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Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon Corporation, released the latest edition of its Monthly Cat Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during November.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that the worst flooding in decades continued across parts of Thailand for a fourth month as the death toll reached at least 657. The floods, which are receding throughout the country, affected more than 13.4 million people in at least 64 provinces. Total economic losses were estimated at THB1.41 trillion (USD45 billion) and industry estimates suggest that insured losses may exceed the THB309 billion (USD10 billion) threshold.

Also in Southeast Asia, Vietnam saw the death toll from persistent flooding in the Mekong River Delta reach at least 100 as waters began to subside. The Central Committee for Storm and Flood Control reported that more than 175,000 homes were destroyed and 99,000 hectares (245,000 acres) of rice and other crops were submerged. Total economic losses were estimated at VND2.85 trillion (USD135 million).

Meanwhile in Europe, a slow-moving extra-tropical area of low pressure (named 'Rolf') in the Mediterranean brought torrential rains and gusty winds across portions of France and Italy. French officials noted that 16 southern regions sustained impacts as several rivers overflowed their banks, killing at least three people. In northern Italy, several cities sustained various levels of flood inundation as seven people died. France's state-owned CCR group noted that total insured losses in the country alone were EUR800 million (USD1.09 billion).

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "As floodwaters throughout Thailand continue to recede, the true scope of the disaster's impact is starting to be realized. With assessments underway, it is clear that the billions in insured losses from the flooding will make this the costliest natural disaster event in Southeast Asia's recorded history. The losses also add to what already was one of the most economically active natural catastrophe years ever around the globe."

Elsewhere, the month recorded a bushfire destroying dozens of homes and structures in Western Australia, two moderate earthquakes in Turkey and China, plus a powerful winter storm in Alaska