U.S. severe weather losses $2bn+ in March, cyclone Debbie US$310m+: Aon

by Artemis on April 7, 2017

Insurance and reinsurance industry losses from severe weather and convective storms in the United States are estimated to be more than $2 billion in March 2017, while the insurance industry loss from Australia’s cyclone Debbie is minimally put at US$310 million, according to Aon Benfield.

Supercell and tornado severe convective weatherThe reinsurance broker’s Impact Forecasting unit cites further billion dollar severe weather outbreaks from March, leading to another heavy toll for the industry to pay.

The broker cites an “extremely active period for severe weather” that struck the U.S. throughout March, with four separate significant outbreaks of severe convective storms (featuring tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds) which caused extensive damage across central and eastern regions.

The most active period of convective weather through March 6th to 10th caused significant damage from tornadoes, large hail and straight-line winds across the Plains, Midwest and Southeast. Impact Forecasting estimates economic losses for this event alone at $1.7 billion, while insurance claims hit $1.2 billion.

The insurance and reinsurance industry is expected to pay a claims cost across the four events of over $2 billion.

With an above average number of severe storm reports in the first-quarter of 2017 the toll is expected to be above $4 billion for the quarter in the U.S. Impact Forecasting had previously reported at least $1 billion of severe weather insured losses in both January and February.

The first week of April has also seen outbreaks of severe weather and tornadoes, continuing this trend and Impact Forecasting expects several hundred million dollars of costs to be added to the economic and insured impacts suffered in the U.S. in 2017.

Additionally, Impact Forecasting gave its first updated on the insurance and reinsurance industry costs from cyclone Debbie, estimated the bill to the industry as at least US $310 million.

The Insurance Council of Australia pegged the loss at AU $413 million from 46,817 early today, which equates to the $310 million. Impact Forecasting said this total will continue to rise further.

Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, commented on catastrophe and weather loss events in March 2017; “There was no shortage of significant natural disasters in March, and while re/insurers’ focus was largely on the events in the United States and Australia, there were other major occurrences in emerging areas for the industry. For instance, a phenomenon deemed a ‘coastal El Niño’ was blamed on catastrophic flooding in both Peru and Colombia, highlighting that there remain areas around the world where insurance can play a critical role in helping people in the aftermath of a disaster.”

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