Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team Impact Forecasting has unveiled the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which sums up the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during April 2017.
According to the report, the largest contributor to total global insurance losses in 2017 were the severe weather outbreaks that impacted the US during the month. Aggregated damages from these severe weather, and subsequent flood events were likely to lead to a multi-billion dollar loss for public and private insurers, with the overall economic cost to the US being significantly higher.
The most severe outbreak, from late April into early May, featured a complex and broad storm weather system that spawned violent tornadoes, straight-line winds, large hail and excessive rainfall, killing 20 people in parts of the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast of the US. Total economic losses from this event alone event were expected to exceed $1.0 billion.
In addition, Cyclone Debbie swept across parts of the South Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand from late March into the first weeks of April, killing at least 14 people. Eastern Australia was badly hit, with damage from high winds and widespread coastal and inland flooding resulting in an anticipated insured loss of $970 million.
The remnants of Debbie would later trigger flooding in areas of New Zealand, where total insured losses were expected to breach tens of millions of US dollars. Debbie’s overall economic cost was estimated at around $2.0 billion.
Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, said: “Much of the focus in April was once again on the US, as powerful thunderstorms and excessive rainfall led to considerable impacts to central and eastern sections of the country. The insurance industry is facing another multi-billion dollar payout as tornadoes, large hail, straight-line winds and flooding left a large damage footprint. The industry in the US is well on its way to facing its tenth consecutive year of annual payouts of $10 billion or more for the severe convective storm peril. Beyond the US, insurers continued to assess the cost of wind and flood damage resulting from Cyclone Debbie in Australia and New Zealand.”
Aon Benfield, Catastrophe report, Global, Steve Bowen