The latest Global Catastrophe Recap report from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting reveals that February storms led to insurance payouts of more than $1 billion globally.

Japan experienced record snowfall during the month, causing the deaths of 37 people and injuring more than 2,750 others, mostly as a result of traffic-related accidents. Economic losses in Japan were estimated at $1.2 billion, according to the report, with $585 million expected to be covered by insurance.

A winter storm early in the month killed at least nine people across the eastern U.S., generating total economic losses of around $250 million and insured losses above $150 million.

A strong winter storm crossed the U.S. midmonth, killing at least 25 people and damaging more than 50,000 structures. Total economic losses were estimated at $500 million, while insurers cited losses in excess of $250 million.

After the blizzards, the eastern part of the U.S. was hit by a storm system that caused a severe weather outbreak, killing at least one person and injuring several others. The Storm Prediction Center cited nearly 500 reports of tornado touchdowns, damaging winds and hail, with total economic losses estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Severe winter weather in China killed at least 10 people and damaged or destroyed nearly 35,000 structures, according to data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Total economic losses were estimated at $930 million.

In western and central Europe, Windstorms Nadja, Petra, Tini and Ulla brought high winds and heavy rains during February. Windstorm Tini caused extensive damage across Ireland and the United Kingdom, with winds in excess of 100 mph as well as flooding across England, Wales and Ireland. Total insured losses were estimated at $685 million, with overall economic damages forecast at $1.0 billion, according to the report. Windstorms also impacted France, Spain, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Scandinavia in February.

Mount Kelud erupted on the Indonesian Island of Java, killing at least seven people and resulting in the evacuation of 200,000 local residents. Economic damages were estimated at $103 million.

In South America, flooding continued to inundate much of Bolivia during February, killing 46 people over a two-month period. Total economic damages across multiple regions were listed in excess of $100 million.

Additional flood events were recorded in areas of Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Philippines and Fiji.

Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting, said: “February was characterized by a wide spectrum of events, ranging from well-modeled windstorms affecting vast areas of Europe at the end of its winter season to largely nonmodeled floods affecting parts of South America and Asia.

“From time to time, a nonmodeled peril such as the recent volcanic activity in Indonesia reminds us of the array of risks present around the globe. Increasing exposure in fast-growing countries marks the need for future model development and is the major force behind the continually expanding suite of Impact Forecasting models for new territories.”

Impact Forecasting’s full February 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap report is available at

Source: Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting