Economic Costs of European Weather Events in June Top $2B: Aon Report

July 11, 2019

Severe European storms during June had an economic price tag of US$2 billion, while insurers anticipated claims topping $1.5 billion, according to the latest edition of Aon’s monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report.

The report said most of these losses came from two different systems. The first involved an outbreak of severe weather between June 10-12, when large hail, strong gusts and intense rainfall hit multiple countries of Central Europe. Significant hail damage occurred in the greater Munich metro region, with additional damage occurring in other areas of Germany, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Northern Italy. Europe-wide economic costs were expected to minimally exceed €915 million (US$1.1 billion), while insurers expected claims of at least €740 million (US$830 million).

Another series of severe storms affected portions of Western and Central Europe during the weekend of June 15-16. Southwest France, canton Genève in Switzerland, Niedersachsen in Germany and parts of the Czech Republic and Austria received the brunt of the storms, while a state of disaster was declared in France. Total economic losses resulting from large hail, severe winds and intense rainfall was expected to minimally top €500 million (US$560 million), with insurers covering most of the losses.

“An active start to summer in the Northern Hemisphere featured many large-scale weather events including severe thunderstorms, flooding, extreme heatwaves, and drought,” said Michal Lorinc, catastrophe analyst within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team.

“Europe was at the center of many of these perils as record temperatures engulfed parts of France, and large hail and damaging winds led to more than US$730 million in insured costs in Germany alone,” he added.

United States’ Events

In addition, severe weather also affected the United States during the month, including periods of powerful thunderstorms and flooding rains that hit parts of the Rockies, Plains and the Southeast from June 8-10. At least three people were killed and more than a dozen others injured. Total economic losses were estimated at up to US$575 million, while public/private insurers payouts were estimated to reach US$400 million.

Seasonal China Floods

Seasonal rainfall and flooding began across parts of central and southern China, with the hardest-hit provincial regions included Guizhou, Jiangxi, Guangxi, and Guangdong. During the month of June and into July, at least 200 people were declared dead or missing, with nearly 200,000 homes and other structures incurring flood inundation. Widespread damage to more than 430,000 hectares (1.06 million acres) of cropland also occurred. The economic cost of the seasonal flood toll in China was listed at CNY42.4 billion (US$6.1 billion).

Aon listed additional natural catastrophe events across the global during June including:

  • A record-setting heatwave in southwestern and central Europe from June 24-July 1 killed 13 people, with the number expected to increase. An all-time maximum temperature was set in France at Gallargues le Montueux – 45.9°C (114.6°F). Hundreds of other daily and June records also occurred in Germany, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Andorra, and the Czech Republic.
  • Continued heat and a lack of rainfall further exacerbated drought conditions in parts of India. Among the hardest-hit areas were in the state of Maharashtra, where an estimated 60 percent of orange orchards were destroyed. The potential losses were estimated from INR50-70 billion (US$720 million to US$1 billion). Nationwide year-to-date drought losses increased to approximately US$1.75 billion.
  • No fewer than 10 separate instances of severe weather and flooding affected the United States during the month of June. A majority of damage was attributed to straight-line winds, with the Storm Prediction Center citing nearly 3,800 instances of winds gusting beyond 60 mph (95 kph). Most damage was incurred from the Rockies to the Northeast. Total combined monthly economic losses will exceed US$1 billion. Insurers will cover a majority of the hail and wind-related impacts.
  • Significant rainfall spawned flash flooding in Brazil’s Recipe metro region in Pernambuco state on June 13. At least seven people were killed as floodwaters inundated several large neighborhoods. As many as 30,000 people were evacuated as further damaged occurred to infrastructure and agriculture.
  • Heavy rains swept across several sections of Yemen from June 7-9. At least three people were killed, and more than 80,000 people were directly affected. Severe inundation was cited to thousands of homes and swaths of infrastructure. At least 10 governorates were affected, with Hajjah the hardest-hit.
  • A magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province on June 17. At least 13 people were killed and another 226 were injured. A minimum of 156,000 homes were damaged. Total economic losses were minimally estimated at CNY8.9 billion (USD1.3 billion).
  • At least 13 people were killed in Ghana following multiple waves of heavy rainfall from May 30-June 1. Most of the fatalities occurred in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan District of the Western Region after flooding overwhelmed local infrastructure. Additional damage and casualties occurred in the Accra region.

Source: Aon

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