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Aon Benfield September Cat Study: Asia Monsoon Economic Losses Near $7B


Posted on 06 Oct 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 September.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that seasonal monsoonal rains triggered significant flooding and landslide events throughout parts of Asia during the month, with China, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Cambodia being particularly affected.

In China, consecutive weeks of heavy rain led to flash floods, river flooding and landslides in nine separate provincial regions, killing at least 101 people and resulting in an economic loss of CNY27.21 billion (USD4.25 billion) according to the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In Thailand, August flooding continued into September, claiming more than 206 lives in total and damaging 1.13 million homes amid an economic loss estimated at THB32.4 billion (USD1.1 billion); and in Cambodia, flooding claimed at least 150 people lives in several central provinces, and damaging at least 130,200 homes

Meanwhile, Southern Pakistan witnessed continued flooding that has killed at least 443 people and affected more than 1.52 million homes. In India, two separate waves of flooding affected the states of Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the month, killing at least 97 people and destroying 80,000, with total combined economic losses forecast at more than INR49 billion (USD1 billion).

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "The monsoon season has affected many parts of Asia with extremely heavy rainfall over the past several months, which is not unexpected for the region during this time of year. However, in many areas, re/insurance penetration remains relatively low. Flood modeling, in general, is still a science in progress, and in these Asian regions particularly, the scientific and modeling communities are striving to understand the peril and its effects, in order that governments can best mitigate the seasonal rainfall, and that the re/insurance industry can structure and price appropriate products to assist in the management of this risk."

According to the September Cat Recap report, global tropical cyclone activity remained strong during the month, highlighted by Typhoon Nesat, which made landfalls in the Philippines, China and Vietnam, killing at least 60 people and resulting in USD1.39 billion of combined economic damages.

Japan saw separate landfalling cyclones – Roke and Talas – in September, with Talas killing at least 68 people and bringing record rains to multiple prefectures. More than 25,117 structures were damaged by wind or flood as total economic losses breached JPY23 billion (USD300 million). Typhoon Roke killed at least 13 people, injured 308 others and damaged more than 4,819 properties, amid a total economic loss in excess of JPY19.1 billion (USD250 million).

In Europe, the post-tropical remnants of windstorm Katia came ashore in northern sections of the United Kingdom, killing at least one person.  The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that damage, clean-up, and business interruption costs would total more than GBP100 million (USD158 million).

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lee made landfall along the United States coastline in Louisiana before moving northeastward. Excessive rains from the storm system led to significant flooding throughout parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. More than 80,000 claims were filed to insurers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with payouts in excess of USD300 million. In terms of an economic loss, Pennsylvania government officials reported USD1 billion in flood losses in the state alone.

Elsewhere, dozens of wildfires spread across central Texas, with the most destructive – the Bastrop County Complex Fire – destroying at least 1,554 homes. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, in excess of 7,000 claims had already been filed and payouts were anticipated to exceed USD500 million.


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