Bad weather made a huge impact in November, with four major winter weather events and resulting fatalities in the United States, global flooding and a big hailstorm in Australia generating much of the havoc.
Aon Benfield summed up the damage in its November 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap.
Highlights of the report show that the fall/winter season is off to a roaring start in terms of storms that cause major personal/property damage or injuries.
The U.S., for example, dealt with four separate major winter weather events (including a polar vortex), and a massive Northeast dumping of snow during the month that landed in the record books. The metro region around Buffalo N.Y. even dealt with a mid-November lake-effect snowstorm that dumped as much as 7 feet of snow in some places. As Aon Benfield noted, 29 people died, and the polar vortex that led to the major weather events also deposited record cold temperatures across the country.
Another winter storm slammed the Northeast during Thanksgiving, and Aon Benfield estimated that total aggregate from U.S. winter storm economic losses in November alone would reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Australia’s greater Brisbane metro region also suffered, with a hailstorm that hit at the end of November and injured 12 people. Aon Benfield said it was among the most significant hailstorms to hit the region in decades, dropping tennis ball-sized hail, high winds and flooding rains. Insurance Council of Australia data cited in the report points to nearly 69,000 claims from resulting property and vehicle damage. Payouts so far have run up to $404 million and rising, Aon Benfield noted.
As far as flooding, events left 13 people dead and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in parts of France, Switzerland, Italy and Albania, Aon Benfield said. In Morocco, things were even worse, with 47 deaths and damage to thousands of properties from excessive rains. Economic damages in Morocco alone hit $450 million, according to the report.
Flooding during the month also caused extensive damage in its wake elsewhere around the world, leaving thousands of people homeless in Thailand, Argentina, Uganda, Somalia, and the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. Flooding also caused significant damage in parts of the Caribbean, Aon Benfield noted.
Other major weather events of note included a deadly maginitude-5.9 earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, and a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in central Japan that injured 46 people. Tropical Storm Sinlaku in the Philippines killed 4 people and damaged close to 3,000 homes, and also caused major property and agricultural damage in Vietnam.
Source: Aon Benfield