US severe weather & convective storm losses near $20bn in 2021: Aon

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Insurance and reinsurance market losses from severe weather and convective storms in the United States is approaching $20 billion in 2021, with tornadoes and storms driving the tally higher in October, according to Aon.

Weather image from DreamaticoAon’s Impact Forecasting division said that a series of severe weather and flooding events resulted in a multi-billion-dollar economic loss across the United States in October 2021.

This included a prolific heavy rainfall event along the U.S. West Coast, known as an atmospheric river, while flash flooding also impacted Alabama during the month.

In addition, tornadic activity continued, with a late-season severe weather outbreak that struck the U.S. Southern Plains and Midwest, generating large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes between Oct. 10th and 11th.

Total economic losses from the severe weather outbreak were estimated to reach at least $300 million, with the majority covered by public and private sources of insurance.

Brian Kerschner, Senior Catastrophe Analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, commented, “October is typically considered a ‘second season’ for severe weather in the United States as it marks a transition from summer warmth to cooler autumn temperatures. This year saw one of the highest tornado tallies for the month on record as it added to what is shaping up to be another year with insured losses exceeding $20 billion. Another region with notable thunderstorm activity in 2021 has been in Australia, where late October storms prompted an insurance catastrophe for multiple states. Most of these losses were due to large hail, which again reinforces the need to promote more resilient construction practices in known high-risk areas.”

Severe and convective weather related storms also impacted Australia during October, with insurance and reinsurance market losses anticipated to rise well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, as South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania were all affected.

Industry losses from severe weather and convective storms have become an increasing contributor to global insurance and reinsurance market losses, with hail becoming a particularly significant factor as well.

Last year, US convective storm insured losses were estimated to have reached $30 billion for the full-year.

Aon already counts US natural catastrophe and weather insured losses at close to $77 billion for the year so far.

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