Aon Benfield, the world’s premier reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor, today releases the latest edition of its Monthly Cat Recap report, which provides an analysis of worldwide catastrophe events in September.
Published by the company’s Impact Forecasting team, who evaluate global perils for the re/insurance industry, the report highlights that the month was dominated by multiple tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Western Pacific basins and a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in New Zealand.
In North America, cyclones Earl, Hermine, Karl, Igor, Matthew and Nicole all affected land. In the U.S., Hermine and Nicole provided the largest impacts – primarily in the form of flood damage. With Tropical Storm Hermine, the Insurance Council of Texas reported that at least 25,000 insurance claims were filed by residents, resulting in an insured loss estimate of USD115 million. Moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole contributed to bring significant rainfall at the end of the month from southern Florida to New England, with the Carolinas sustaining the brunt of the precipitation.
Meanwhile, a large wildfire swept across Colorado during the month. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, at least 353 claims were filed in Colorado, with payouts totalling USD217 million − the most expensive wildfire in state history.
Heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones Karl and Matthew brought continued flooding and landslides throughout Central America, with Mexico sustaining the worst of the damage. Hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed across the affected states of Tabasco, Veracruz, Chiapas and Oaxaca, with combined total economic losses in excess of MXN50 billion (USD4 billion). Additional heavy rains also caused substantial flood damage in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Elsewhere in North America, Hurricane Igor skirted Bermuda before eventually causing widespread damage to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Total combined economic losses from Igor were estimated at nearly USD200 million.
Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: “The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was forecast to be above normal, and while we have not yet seen a large landfalling insured loss event, the season has been active in terms of sheer activity. Several landfalling storms have caused widespread devastation in Central America, though insurance penetration in these regions remains low. With two months left in the Atlantic hurricane season, and atmospheric indicators still showing favorable conditions for development, we need to continue monitoring the tropics for any possible threats.”
In New Zealand, a strong magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck on September 4, causing extensive damage across the city of Christchurch and in nearby towns. The New Zealand Earthquake Commission anticipated receiving at least 100,000 claims with insured losses topping NZD2 billion (1.45 billion).
In Europe, wildfires affected areas of southern Russia, killing least eight people and injuring 17 others. According to the Russian government, more than 550 homes and other structures were destroyed, primarily in villages in the Volgograd region.
Meanwhile, heavy rains between the 26th and the 28th brought flooding to parts of Germany and Poland, resulting in a state of emergency being declared in Germany.
In Africa, heavy rains that began in early August reached their peak intensity on the 24th, leaving up to two million people homeless in Nigeria.
In Asia, multiple cyclones affected parts of China, Taiwan and South Korea. Tropical cyclones Kompasu, Meranti and Fanapi each caused economic losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD). Also during the month, heavy monsoon rains brought significant floods to northern India. Economic losses were listed at INR75 billion (USD1.65 billion).
Source : Aon Benfield Press Release