U.S. Severe Weather Insured Losses Surpassed $20B After Rough October: Aon
Annual U.S. severe weather insured losses for 2021 are jumping above $20 billion after a rough October, even before the year is complete, according to a new Aon report.
“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,” Brian Kerschner, senior catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said in prepared remarks. “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.”
Heavy weather hits for the month weren’t limited to the U.S. Kerschner said Australia also took some hits, with sizable October thunderstorm activity causing “an insurance catastrophe for multiple states,” thanks in large part to large hail.
In the U.S, multi-billion-dollar natural catastrophe-related insurance losses stemmed in large part from severe weather and flood events, such as heavy rainfall along the U.S. west coast known as an atmospheric river. Another heavy rain event left at least four people dead and prompted a flash flood emergency near Birmingham, Ala.
Meanwhile, a late-season severe weather outbreak in the U.S. Southern Plains and Midwest generated large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes on Oct. 10-11. Total economic losses were expected to reach at least $300 million, mostly covered by public and private insurers.
Internationally, thunderstorms in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania in late October caused widespread damage, prompting the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) to declare an insurance catastrophe for the event. Total economic and insured losses were each estimated at more than $100 million.
Other natural catastrophe activity that occurred in October include:
- Cyclone Shaheen (Gulab) made landfall in northern Oman on Oct. 3 as a tropical storm in an area that previously had no record of such a landfall dating back to at least 1890, killing at least 14 people in Oman (12) and Iran (two). Total economic losses were expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum.
- Windstorm Aurore, also known as Hendrik, became the first significant event of the 2021/2022 European windstorm season. Insurers across Europe anticipated tens of thousands of claims with total losses expected to reach into the hundreds of millions of euros.
- Significant flooding impacted parts of northern China in October, with the heaviest damage registered in Shanxi and Shaanxi. Additional flooding occurred in 14 other provinces. Total economic losses exceeded CNY11.3 billion (US$1.8 billion).
- Widespread monsoonal flooding in Thailand since late September, enhanced by tropical systems Dianmu, Lionrock and Kompasu, continued through the month of October. National authorities noted more than 330,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, along with large swaths of agricultural land.
- The arrival of La Niña resulted in enhanced rainfall during the second rainy season of the year in Colombia, with heavy precipitation affecting the country beginning the last week of October. The three hardest-hit departments included Antioquia, Meta and Putumayo.
The full report is Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap for October.
This article first appeared in Insurance Journal’s sister publication, Carrier Management.
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