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Annual U.S. Severe Weather Claims Near $20 billion Following October Activity

Aon has launched the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during October 2021...

The report reveals that a series of severe weather and flooding events resulted in a multi-billion-dollar economic loss for the United States during the month, including a prolific heavy rainfall event 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, Alabama.

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.

Thunderstorms in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania in late October caused widespread damage, prompting the Insurance Council of Australia (ICAUS) to declare an insurance catastrophe for the event. Total economic and insured losses were each estimated at more than $100 million.

Brian Kerschner, Senior Catastrophe Analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “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.”

Other natural catastrophe activity that occurred in October includes:

  • 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 (USD) 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 (EUR).
  • 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 (USD1.8 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 Impact Forecasting Global Catastrophe Recap October 2021 report is available at http://thoughtleadership.aon.com/Documents/20211011-analytics-if-october-global-recap.pdf

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