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Insurance payout breaches $5bn

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, today releases the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during June 2013. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

The report reveals that major flooding continued across Central Europe during the first half of the month, killing at least 23 people and resulting in combined economic losses of up to EUR17 billion (USD22 billion), and insured losses tentatively estimated at approximately EUR4.0 billion (USD5.3 billion). Most of the losses were attributable to Germany.

The majority of flood damage occurred in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Switzerland after major rivers burst their banks, including the Danube, Vltava, Rhine, Main, and Neckar.

Unprecedented flooding also impacted Canada’s Alberta Province following significant rainfall at the end of June, killing at least four people and prompting state of emergency declarations in 27 communities.

Calgary sustained extensive damage after the Bow and Elbow rivers burst their banks and flooded the downtown region, while other towns, including Medicine Hat, Canmore, Banff, and High River, were also heavily damaged.

Total economic losses were estimated at around CAD4.0 billion (USD3.8 billion) – one of the costliest flood events in Canada’s history. Preliminary insured loss estimates were cited at more than CAD1.1 billion (USD1.0 billion).

Monsoon rainfall inundated northern India and Nepal, triggering massive flooding and landslides that left at least 5,000 people dead or missing, and caused catastrophic damage, especially in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Much of the damage occurred along the Ganges, Yamuna and Ghaghara rivers and their tributaries as tens of thousands of homes, businesses and other structures were washed away.

Total economic losses were cited as more than INR65 billion (USD1.1 billion), with insured losses expected to reach INR30 billion (USD500 million).

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: “Flooding is becoming an increasingly expensive and devastating peril globally, and we continue to work with our clients to help them understand and manage their exposures. We have now developed flood models for six European countries with significant flood risk, and also for the U.S. and Thailand, which are helping insurers and reinsurers to manage their aggregated exposures in these regions. Aon Benfield’s experts are also working with the British government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to help formulate and implement a solution that will address the future challenges of insuring flood risk in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, severe weather tracked across the central and eastern United States throughout June, causing at least six deaths and widespread damage. The inclement weather included at least two derecho events that spawned damaging straight-line winds across several states.

The total June economic cost of severe thunderstorms was expected to exceed USD1.0 billion, with insured losses in excess of USD500 million.

In Europe, powerful thunderstorms resulted in tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flash flooding across parts of France, Spain and Switzerland during the month.

In France, severe damage was recorded in several departments including Hautes-Pyrenees, Pyrenees-Atlantiques and Côte-d’Or, with economic losses estimated at EUR500 million (USD655 million). In Switzerland, insured losses from severe weather in an area from Geneva to Laussane and the Jura to Neuchatel was estimated at CHF200 million (USD214 million).

Additional severe weather occurred in Sri Lanka, China and South Africa.

The Black Forest Fire became the most damaging fire in Colorado’s history, killing two people, charring 14,280 acres (5,778 hectares) of land, and destroying at least 511 homes. Insurers received at least 4,500 claims, resulting in payouts in excess of USD350 million. Dozens of destroyed homes were uninsured or underinsured, which will push the overall economic loss beyond USD500 million.

Two Atlantic tropical storms made landfall in June, including Tropical Storm Andrea that came ashore in Florida’s Big Bend region and tracked along the U.S. East Coast, causing minimal damage.

Tropical Storm Barry made landfall in Mexico, killing at least three people. Flood damage was also prevalent in Mexico, Belize and El Salvador.

Tropical Storm Bebinca made separate landfalls in China and Vietnam, causing USD45 million in agricultural losses.

A strong winter storm brought heavy snow, rain and gusty winds across parts of New Zealand. The Insurance Council of New Zealand anticipated insured losses to be in the region of NZD40 million (USD31 million).

To view the full Impact Forecasting June 2013 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link below:

To access the Catastrophe Insight website, please visit:

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