Derecho & severe storms drive hundreds of millions in U.S. losses: Aon

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In the last week a Derecho event and series of severe storms that drove hail, strong winds and tornadoes are expected to combine into another week where the insurance and reinsurance sector faces hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

Weather image from DreamaticoA Derecho event is a long-lived and intense line of severe thunderstorms which are characterised by strong winds of 60 mph and above, insurance and reinsurance broker Aon explained.

Typically pressure differentials between weather fronts are seen to drive Derecho events across the United States and this week Aon notes that a meandering and broad mid to upper-level area of low pressure across the Rockies drove storm impacts on consecutive days from June 21st to 24th.

From June 21st to 22nd the Derecho event was driven across the country, from Kansas all the way through to South Carolina, with damage recorded along the way and the Derecho eventually covering more than 1,000 miles.

Further clusters of severe thunderstorms sparked up across an area covering parts of the Rockies, Plains, Midwest, and Southeast, resulting in outbreaks of damaging straight-line winds, large hail, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes, Aon explained.

Among these storms, an EF2 tornado with winds up to 125 mph (205 kph) touched down in South Bend, Indiana on June 23rd, while large hail was experienced across a wide area.

During the period June 21st to 27th the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) recorded 1,483 filtered Local Storm Reports, including reports of tornadoes (34), damaging winds (1,190), and hail (259).

The Derecho event caused the most damage during the week, followed by large hail and then tornadoes.

Aon said that both the economic toll and the bill for the insurance and reinsurance industry would individually be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which adds to the severe convective storm bill experienced so far this year.

It follows May’s $2 billion or more of severe storm impacts across the United States.

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