Severe weather, including winter storms, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, across the United States last week are expected to drive economic losses of more than $1 billion, while hundreds of million of insured losses are possible as wind damage is expected to largely be covered.
This is according to the Impact Forecasting division of insurance and reinsurance broker Aon, who believe that the extent of the storms in impacting many states and cities, will be a costly week for the country and the risk industry.
The broker explained that central and eastern sections of the United States experienced significant impacts from the severe weather and winter storm between January 10th and 12th, with the most significant damage seen in a multi-day severe weather outbreak when at least 70 confirmed tornado touchdowns were reported.
In addition there were 23 storm reports of large hail and 742 of straight-line winds impacting a region covering parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia.
On top of this, the winter component of the weather system further north brought heavy snowfall and some accumulations of ice across parts of the Plains and Midwest, while heavy rainfall resulted in some flash flooding and riverine flooding in the Great Lakes. Further storm impacts were also experienced in southeastern Canada.
Total economic losses from this period of weather is estimated to reach $1 billion plus, with the majority of the wind-related damage expected to be insured, Aon said.
There were at least 12 fatalities, four in Texas, three each in Louisiana and Alabama, one in Oklahoma and Iowa, caused by tornadoes and straight-line winds.
Insurance and reinsurance broker Aon noted that losses from this period of extreme and severe weather could rise, given the expansive footprint of the areas affected.
It seems the majority of the economic losses, which Aon puts at over $1 billion, are likely due to the tornadoes and straight-line winds that affected states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina in particular, are the drive of most of the costs.
As Aon explained, most of this wind related damage is expected to be covered by insurers, suggesting if there is any known-on impact to the reinsurance market it would come from these convective storm-related impacts.