Tornado strikes continue, likely impacting aggregate losses for cat bonds

by Artemis on May 23, 2011

The U.S. continues to be affected by severe thunderstorms and devastating tornadoes, the latest of which impacted the city of Joplin, Missouri yesterday. The BBC report that the city suffered a direct hit from a tornado leaving a trail of destruction and 30 people dead (Update: CNN now report at least 89 dead). CNN eye-witness statements suggest that 75% of the town is virtually gone.

As a line of severe weather passed through the U.S. midwest yesterday there have been reports of tornadoes in many areas again. The latest spell of convective weather is not expected to be as damaging as the one at the end of April but it is likely to add to the aggregate losses which qualify for some of the tornado and severe thunderstorm exposed catastrophe bonds.

Of the exposed cat bonds which have already had some losses mounting this year, Mariah Re Ltd. could be impacted by this latest spell of tornadoes as it covers losses in Missouri and Residential Reinsurance 2009 covers severe thunderstorm losses across the U.S.  Both seem likely to increase their annual aggregate loss count thanks to this spell of weather although it isn’t possible to be certain until the insured loss estimates from PCS are reported.

We’re still waiting to hear final loss estimates for the tornadoes at the very end of April as they are likely to have some impact on these deals due to losses expected to be reported in Alabama.

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