Aon Benfield June Global, U.S. Cat Report: Thunderstorms, Hail, Floods

July 7, 2014
Storms in northern Germany during June 2014.

The Global Catastrophe Recap report for June from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting highlights the outbreak of severe thunderstorms that affected Western and Central Europe during the first half of the month, causing significant hail damage in parts of Germany, France and Belgium, and killing at least six people in Germany.

The French Federation of Insurance Companies noted that 363,000 residential, automobile and business claims had been filed in France alone as a result of the severe weather, with insurance payouts forecast at €900 million ($1.223 billion). Overall economic losses from the event across Central Europe were listed in excess of €2.0 billion ($2.72 billion).

The Aon report notes that the losses marked the second consecutive summer in which parts of Europe have endured major insured losses as a result of hail; in 2013, insurers paid more than $4.0 billion [€2.95 billion] in claims from hailstorms, mostly in Germany and France.

“For the second year running, hail-inducing thunderstorms have caused significant damage during the summer months in Europe,” said Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting. “Given the recent level of losses for this peril, both in Europe and in the U.S., there is an increasing opportunity for the development of models to help insurers more accurately evaluate their exposures.

The United States endured several rounds of “convective weather” during June, with tornadoes, hail and damaging winds leading to aggregate economic losses expected to reach the multi-billions of dollars, with insurance losses well exceeding the $1.0 billion threshold, according to the report.

The greatest impact was felt during a near-week-long event that led to significant hail, straight-line wind, and flash flood damage across parts of the Midwest, Plains, Rockies, Southwest, and the Tennessee Valley, killing three people. Softball-sized hail and winds gusting beyond 90 mph (150 kph) led to economic damages totaling approximately $850 million, with insured losses in excess of $550 million.

At least five EF-4 tornadoes touched down in the Plains during a 36-hour stretch, four occurring in northeast Nebraska, devastating the small town of Pilger.

Elsewhere during the month, monsoonal rains caused significant damage in China, killing dozens of people and resulting in economic losses of more than $2.0 billion. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) noted that nearly 200,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by flood inundation.

Flooding rains occurred in southern Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, killing at least 15 people. More than 500,000 people were directly affected or evacuated from their homes as several main rivers overflowed their banks. Preliminary damage estimates to residential property and infrastructure in Argentina alone were listed in excess of ARS500 million ($62 million).

Torrential rains and severe thunderstorms killed at least 15 people dead in northeast Bulgaria, resulting in residential and infrastructure damages of more than BGN55 million ($38 million).

Tropical Storm Hagibis made landfall in southern China’s Guangdong Province with 80 kph (50 mph) winds. No serious injuries or fatalities were reported as the storm damaged roughly 1,000 homes, with economic losses listed at CNY814 million ($131 million).

Tropical Storm Boris made landfall in near the border of southern Mexico’s Chiapas and Oaxaca states as a minimal 40 kph (65 mph) system after first spreading heavy rains into Guatemala. At least six people were killed as widespread flooding and landslides were reported in each country. Hundreds of homes were damaged.

Source: Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting

 

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