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Aon Benfield Cat Report: U.S. Severe Weather Insurance Losses Near $2 Billion in June

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Posted on 10 Jul 2012 by Neilson

AonAon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc, today releases the latest edition of its Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during June.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that several natural disaster events occurred across the United States during the month, the most costly being a severe weather event that spawned up to baseball-sized hail in parts of Texas and New Mexico. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, insured losses in the state will exceed USD1 billion, with more than 100,000 claims filed by the end of June.

Meanwhile, a separate hail event in Colorado and Wyoming caused more than USD700 million in insured losses, according to local sources.

At least 28 people were killed following a prolonged stretch of severe weather in central and eastern U.S. states, which included a violent derecho – a fast-moving, long-lived cluster of intense thunderstorms – that claimed at least 15 lives, caused extensive blackouts, and resulted in more than 50,000 insurance claims.

In Colorado, two major wildfires ignited and burned during the month. The Waldo Canyon Fire in the Colorado Springs region became the most damaging blaze in state history, killing at least two people, destroying 347 homes (with a combined housing market value of USD110.2 million) and damaging at least 50 others. Meanwhile, the High Park Fire outside of Fort Collins destroyed 259 homes and killed one person.

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "The Colorado wildfires proved to be the two most damaging fires in state history, and also two of the costliest. Impact Forecasting is the only firm to have developed a brushfire catastrophe model for the western states in the U.S., which allows us to provide detailed feedback to our clients following events such as these, giving them confidence that their exposures are being fully identified and quantified."

Also in the U.S., Tropical Storm Debby brought days of torrential rain and flooding to Florida, killing at least seven people. The weather system caused significant infrastructure damage and flooded more than 7,500 homes and businesses across the state. Very preliminary economic damages were listed at USD100 million.

Elsewhere, China sustained several natural disaster impacts during June. Flooding in nearly 20 provinces claimed more than 70 lives, damaged or destroyed 175,000 homes and caused an economic loss in excess of USD3 billion. Severe weather and multiple earthquakes caused additional fatalities and damage, and an economic loss of more than USD500 million.

Also in Asia, a weakened Super Typhoon Guchol made landfall in Japan's Wakayama Prefecture, damaging around 500 homes. And extreme monsoonal rainfall in India and Bangladesh killed at least 232 and damaged or destroyed as many as 600,000 dwellings. Flooding was also recorded in Thailand, Taiwan, Afghanistan and the Philippines.

The U.K. recorded separate instances of heavy rainfall, with portions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales reporting flood damage to homes and other structures. Also in Europe, a rare tornado struck Italy's Venice region and caused USD12.6 million in damage.
Australia sustained severe weather in parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia during the month. A rare earthquake (magnitude-5.2) impacted Victoria, although the resultant damage was reported to be minimal.


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