December was a devastating month for global communities and the insurance industry alike as natural disasters left an insurance bill of more than US$4 billion.
The Global Catastrophe Report Recap
, released by Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team Impact Forecasting, revealed the staggering bill following masses of damage in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Preliminary estimates suggest that total economic losses from the weather events during the month will exceed US$4 billion, with insured losses likely to approach or exceed US$2 billion,” the report notes.
“The Insurance Council of Texas reported losses of US$1.2 billion in the Dallas metropolitan area alone.”
In Australia, bushfires that ravaged parts of Victoria
and the tornado that torn through parts of Sydney
were given special mention as the global bill was revealed.
“A wildfire burned in Australia’s state of Victoria and left serious damage on December 25, destroying at least 116 homes. The Lorne Fire destroyed 98 homes in Wye River and 18 at Separation Creek, which led to the Insurance Council of Australia
declaring an insurance catastrophe,” the report notes.
“A supercell thunderstorm struck south-eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, on December 16 that prompted damaging straight-line winds, large hail, torrential rain, and at least one tornado touchdown. The storm left a swath of damage in its wake that led to the Insurance Council of Australia
to declare an insurance catastrophe. As of this writing, 2,600 claims had been filed totaling AU$14 million (US$9.8 million). Economic losses were even higher
“Preliminary insured losses were listed at AU$53 million (US$38 million). Total economic losses are expected to top US$100 million.”
58 tornados touched down across the United States, alongside flooding in Southern and Midwestern states which resulted in 64 deaths whilst a series of North Atlantic storms hammered parts of northern England.