Aon Benfield Monthly Cat Report: Thai, Europe Floods Costly for Insurers

December 7, 2011

Aon Benfield’s Monthly Cat Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during November, concludes that insured losses in Thailand could top $10 billion, while floods in Europe will exceed $1 billion.

The report, published by Impact Forecasting, the firm’s catastrophe model development center of excellence, described the floods in Thailand as the “worst flooding in decades.” Although they now are receding, they have now ravaged the country for more than four months, leaving at least 657 people dead and have “affected more than 13.4 million people in at least 64 provinces. Total economic losses were estimated at THB1.41 trillion ($45 billion) and industry estimates suggest that insured losses may exceed the THB309 billion ($10 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 ($135 million).”

Europe also experienced catastrophic flooding, as 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 €800 million ($1.09 billion).”

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, stated: “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.

The bulletin also noted that “early next month, Impact Forecasting will release its Annual Global Climate & Catastrophe Report, a review of more than 240 catastrophic events during the past year. The report will also highlight economic and insured losses from around the world in 2011 and provide a glimpse into 2012 with an early preview of the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season and expected global climatology.”

Source: Aon Benfield

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