New Zealand Quake’s Insured Losses Estimated at $705M-$3.5B: Aon Cat Report

December 8, 2016

Insurance losses from last month’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake in New Zealand are likely to range between NZ$1.0 to 5.0 billion (US$705 million and US$3.5 billion), according to a report published by Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team.

At the same time, economic losses (non-insured losses) from the quake, which killed two people and injured dozens more, will likely range from NZ$3.0 to NZ$8.0 billion (US$2.1 to 5.7 billion), said the report titled “Global Catastrophe Recap – November 2016.”

Impact Forecasting said the New Zealand Earthquake Commission had received 15,075 claims at the time of the report’s publication.

Meanwhile, significant wildfires – many set by arsonists – swept across parts of Israel, causing extensive damage to homes, injuring at least 137 people, and causing total economic losses of ILS2.0 billion (US$520 million).

During November, large hail and damaging winds affected the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico, resulting in more than US$450 million in economic damage and insurance losses approaching US$300 million.

In the second half of November, an outbreak of wildfires caused catastrophic damage to areas of eastern Tennessee, killing 14 people and injuring 134 others. The worst fire, Chimney Tops 2, damaged or destroyed more than 1,750 structures in Sevier County’s Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and was cited as the worst in Tennessee in more than 100 years, with an economic cost expected to significantly surpass USD100 million.

“This year has been marked by several major earthquake events, with the peril thus far second only to flooding as the costliest disaster type,” said Adam Podlaha, global head of Impact Forecasting.

“In November, a powerful earthquake brought further damage to parts of New Zealand as the country continues to rebuild following the devastating temblors in 2010 and 2011. While the associated losses with the November event are not expected to reach the magnitude of the 2010 and 2011 events, it serves as a reminder for the cat modeling sector of the earthquake risk in Oceania,” he continued.

Other natural hazard events during the month include:

  • A series of severe thunderstorms producing golf ball sized hail swept across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. The Insurance Council of Australia noted that 28,146 claims had been filed with payouts totaling AUD192.6 million (US$144 million). Overall economic losses were even higher.
  • Windstorm Nannette tracked through areas of Western Europe, generating severe wind gusts and isolated flooding over portions of the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Total economic losses were expected to significantly exceed US$100 million.
  • Hurricane Otto made landfall at Category 2 strength in Nicaragua, killing 17 people in the southwest Caribbean and resulting in total economic losses estimated at near US$50 million.
  • Severe flooding events were recorded in parts of Italy, France, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Hispaniola, and South Africa.

The full Impact Forecasting November 2016 Global Catastrophe Recap report, can be found on Aon Benfield’s website.

Source: Aon Benfield

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