June’s Severe Weather Losses Near $2 Billion in U.S.: Aon Benfield

July 10, 2012

U.S. severe weather insurance losses were close to $2 billion in June, according to Aon Benfield’s Global Catastrophe Report.

Published by Aon’s Impact Forecasting, the report analyzes the natural disaster events that occurred across the United States and worldwide during June.

The most costly was the severe weather event that spawned up to baseball-sized hail in parts of Texas and New Mexico. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, insured losses in the state will exceed $1 billion, with more than 100,000 claims filed by the end of June.

A separate hail storm in Colorado and Wyoming caused more than $700 million in insured losses, according to local sources.

The series of severe weather events in the central and eastern U.S. killed at least 28 people. The storms were especially deadly due to a violent derecho – a fast-moving cluster of intense thunderstorms – that claimed at least 15 lives, caused blackouts, and resulted in more than 50,000 insurance claims, according to Aon Benfield.

Colorado’s two major wildfires caused extensive damage. The Waldo Canyon Fire in the Colorado Springs region became the most damaging blaze in state history, killing at least two people, destroying 347 homes (with a combined housing market value of $110.2 million) and damaging at least 50 others. Meanwhile, the High Park Fire outside of Fort Collins destroyed 259 homes and killed one person.

Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting, said that the Colorado wildfires “proved to be the two most damaging fires in state history, and also two of the costliest.”

Also in the U.S., Tropical Storm Debby brought days of torrential rain and flooding to Florida, killing at least seven people. The weather system caused significant infrastructure damage and flooded more than 7,500 homes and businesses across the state. Very preliminary economic damages were listed at $100 million.

While the U.S. experienced more than its share of natural disasters during June, the rest of the world wasn’t spared. Aon Benfield’s report gave the following details:

  • China sustained several natural disaster impacts during June. Flooding in nearly 20 provinces claimed more than 70 lives, damaged or destroyed 175,000 homes and caused an economic loss in excess of $3 billion. Severe weather and multiple earthquakes caused additional fatalities and damage, and an economic loss of more than $500 million.
  • Also in Asia, a weakened Super Typhoon Guchol made landfall in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture, damaging around 500 homes. And extreme monsoonal rainfall in India and Bangladesh killed at least 232 and damaged or destroyed as many as 600,000 dwellings. Flooding was also recorded in Thailand, Taiwan, Afghanistan and the Philippines.
  • The U.K. recorded separate instances of heavy rainfall, with portions of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales reporting flood damage to homes and other structures. Also in Europe, a rare tornado struck Italy’s Venice region and caused $12.6 million in damage.
  • Australia sustained severe weather in parts of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia during the month. A rare earthquake (magnitude-5.2) impacted Victoria, although the resultant damage was reported to be minimal.

Source: Aon Benfield

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