General Insurance Article - Catastrophe report as tropical cyclone season looms

Aon plc launches the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during July 2019.

 The report reveals that Hurricane Barry made landfall in Louisiana and established a new state record for the highest hurricane-induced rainfall of 16.59 inches in Arkansas. Five states have now set new hurricane-induced rainfall records since 2017 alone: Texas, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arkansas. The Category 1 storm came ashore near Intracoastal City, Louisiana before quickly weakening. The remnants of Barry would later lead to flood and thunderstorm damage across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. Total economic losses, largely flood-driven, were expected to exceed USD600 million. Public and private insurers paid out nearly USD300 million.

 Monsoonal flooding across Southern Asia killed hundreds and incurred a notable economic loss with an estimated 600,000 homes flooded in Bangladesh. According to reports, more than 467 people have been killed this season in India and many thousands of acres of cropland destroyed. The states of Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were among the worst affected. Economic losses were expected to reach well into millions of US dollars with significant costs to agriculture and infrastructure.

 Another record-breaking heatwave hit multiple European countries at the end of July, a month after the first wave of record heat in June. Five countries recorded all-time national highs (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and United Kingdom). Extreme heat, coupled with relatively low rainfall in some regions, caused notable health impacts and likely affected multiple economic sectors.

 Steve Bowen, Meteorologist and Head of Catastrophe Insight within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “The summer of 2019 has thus far highlighted several meteorological and climatological hazards across the Northern Hemisphere and further exposed humanitarian vulnerabilities. Parts of Europe and the Arctic have endured record-breaking heat which has resulted in an accelerated seasonal decline of polar sea ice, exacerbated wildfires, and enhanced drought conditions. At the same time, seasonal flooding across Asia has affected millions of people. As we continue to face further population and exposure growth in regions which are among the most at-risk as climate conditions evolve, the issue of resilience becomes even more pronounced.”

 Other natural catastrophe events to have occurred elsewhere during July include:
 • A series of thunderstorm outbreaks across the United States led to considerable hail and damaging wind impacts throughout the month of July. Several of the outbreaks were initiated by record heat that covered much of the country. Total combined economic losses were expected to approach USD2.0 billion, with insurers covering a majority of the damage.
 • Two of strongest earthquakes to strike Southern California since 1999 occurred during the first week of July: a magnitude-6.4 foreshock on July 4 and a magnitude-7.1 mainshock on July 5. Total economic damage to infrastructure, property, and indoor contents was expected to approach USD200 million while insured losses are estimated to be less than USD50 million.
 • A notable outbreak of severe weather hit France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Austria at the beginning of July. Damage, mostly associated with large hail and severe winds, resulted in insurance payouts minimally reaching into the tens of millions of US dollars.
 • A combination of large hail, strong winds and urban flooding resulted in tens of millions of losses in Slovenia and Croatia. Among the hardest-hit were Ptuj, Slovenia (flood, wind) and Vukovar, Trpinja and Drenovec in Croatia (hail).
 • Severe storms produced large hail across eastern Spain, damaging at least 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of crops. Additionally, flash floods in the Navarra region resulted in insurance payouts of EUR16 million.
 • A magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck Iran on July 8. The epicenter of the tremblor was located 28 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Masjed Soleyman in Khuzestan. The earthquake left one dead, 125 injured, and widespread minor damage to 56 villages near the epicenter.
 • Heavy rains triggered a landslide near Asni, south of Marrakech in Morocco on July 24, killing 15 people.
 • Seasonal rainfall associated with the Mei-yu frontal boundary brought additional flooding across southern sections of China within the Yangtze River Basin and northern China in July. At least 112 people were left dead or missing across the provincial regions of Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, and Heilongjiang. Data from China’s Ministry of Emergency Management cited that 26,000 homes were destroyed, and 195,000 hectares (482,000 acres) of cropland was damaged. Total economic losses during this time exceeded CNY47 billion (USD6.8 billion). The seasonal combined economic flood cost rose to roughly USD12 billion.

 View the full Impact Forecasting July 2019 Global Catastrophe Recap report

 Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on
 Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available:


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