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Aon Benfield Cat Study: Insurers Exposed to Minimum $5B Loss as Thailand Suffers Continued Flooding

Posted on 04 Nov 2011

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

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that flooding continued to inundate much of Thailand for a third full month, as record levels of floodwater entered sections of the capital, Bangkok.

The flooding has impacted 64 of Thailand's 77 provinces, affecting more than 9.9 million people with at least 427 reported dead. Preliminary economic losses have been listed at THB300 billion ($9.8 billion), with insured losses already estimated at more than THB140 billion ($4.6 billion). Assessments remain ongoing as approximately 3.3 million homes and nearly 15,000 manufacturing and industrial plants have sustained various levels of inundation.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, flooding persisted in parts of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, killing at least 342 people. More than 480,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged as extensive flooding caused substantial inundation to crops. Total combined economic losses are expected to be over $766 million.

Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Storm 02B brought excessive rains to Myanmar, resulting in flash flooding and overflowing rivers that killed at least 215 people.

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "Asia continues to suffer the consequences of extreme natural disaster events in 2011, and the recovery efforts for the ongoing flood crisis in Thailand particularly will be protracted and extensive. Until the floods fully begin to recede, there will remain some uncertainty as to the overall economic impact felt throughout the country. Regardless, early indications suggest this is a historic event in Thailand. The prolonged, extensive flooding is another natural disaster event for a country which has dealt with many over the years, particularly the 2004 tsunami."

A magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 601 people and leaving more than 4,152 injured. Van Province suffered widespread damage, with at least 11,232 buildings listed as damaged or destroyed. Dozens of villages near the epicenter saw thousands of additional homes collapse, with a total economic loss estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, a strong storm system yielded torrential rains, flooding and mudslides across Europe, killing at least nine people, including seven in Italy. Italian officials reported that the hardest-hit areas came in the regions of Tuscany and Liguria.

Weeks of heavy rains resulted in widespread flooding across southern and central sections of Nigeria, where at least 10 people died and 25,000 homes were submerged in areas around the city of Lagos and villages in Imo State.

Elsewhere, a strong, early season Nor'easter brought record snowfall and gusty winds across parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic in the U.S., killing at least 27 people. The system caused widespread damage as the weight of the heavy, wet snow caused trees and power poles to snap. Total economic losses were preliminarily estimated by state governments in the Northeast to reach as high as $3 billion.