$1bn+ impact of this week’s U.S. severe storms mostly insured: Aon

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U.S. severe convective weather that struck as thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and high winds this week is expected to have caused over $1 billion of economic impacts, with the majority set to fall to insurance and reinsurance capital, according to Aon.

Supercell and tornado severe convective weatherImpact Forecasting, the specialist catastrophe analytics and modelling unit of insurance and reinsurance broker Aon, said that the severe weather that struck a large swathe of the Plains, Midwest and Southeast is expected to result in many thousands of claims and a high economic toll.

It was one of the most active and damaging severe weather outbreaks of 2019 so far, Aon’s Impact Forecasting unit said, as severe weather from May 16th to the 23rd resulted in at least seven deaths and injured more than a hundred others.

The severe weather saw more than 100 confirmed tornadoes occur, with large hail of up to 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) in diameter, as well as straight-line winds that reached 100 mph (160 kph), and excessive rainfall that led to flash flooding across the regions affected.

Parts of Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were the worst affected states, although severe weather damage was also recorded in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Impact Forecasting said that total economic damages from this multi-day severe convective weather event are expected to eclipse $1 billion, with insurance and perhaps reinsurance capital covering much of the hail and wind-related damages.

May is typically one of the peak months for severe thunderstorms and convective weather, as well as for tornado touchdowns and the areas most impacted are in the hotspots where the most tornadoes tend to be recorded during this month.

A dangerous set up of weather conditions created conditions conducive to large thunderstorms, with convection and large hail seen, as well as the tornadoes and strong straight-line winds.

As a result, Aon’s unit expects that aggregated direct physical damage losses will rise beyond $1 billion, with insurers set to take a large share.

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