bigstock-Satin-China-flag-20611064Floods caused $33 billion in economic damage in China through July, but very little is covered by insurance, according the new catastrophe report from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.

Barely 2 percent of the economic cost is covered by insurance in China, Impact Forecasting said, versus just under 70 percent in the U.S. when comparable storms hit.

In July, six different severe convective storms and flash flooding hit in the U.S. from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast. They caused a combined $1.5 billion in economic losses, but public and private insurers were set to handle about 67 percent of overall economic costs, Impact Forecasting said.

Close to 20 provincial regions dealt with flooding that has been ongoing in some areas since May. All of this can be blamed on China’s substantial “Mei-Yu” rainfall that worsened flooding in the country’s northeast and along the Yangtze River Basin.

In all, the floods left 764 people dead or missing, and more than 800,000 homes and other structures damaged or destroyed, according to data from China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs cited by Impact Forecasting.

There was also significant damage to China’s agriculture sector, with 18 million acres of cropland damaged by flooding, Impact Forecasting said.

Experts said the flooding to hit China is the worst since 1998.

Other Asian locales also had a tough July in terms of natural catastrophe events. Among the major storms:

  • India, Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia and Afghanistan dealt with monsoon rains that created massive floods and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. More than 230 people were either dead or missing due to the rains.
  • Super Typhoon Nepartak killed 82 people after separate landfalls in Taiwan and China, damaging or destroying 38,000 homes and causing at least $1.5 billion in combined economic losses.

Beyond Asia, other locales that sustained major storm damage include:

  • South Africa, where major thunderstorms and flash flooding created havoc in July, killing at least seven people and causing more than $145 million in anticipated insured losses. Impact Forecasting said that overall economic losses were significantly higher than that.
  • Tropical Storm Mirinae landed separate times in southern China and northern Vietnam, leaving at least 5 people dead or missing. The storm also damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 homes and 272,000 acres of cropland. Total combined economic losses: $20 million.
  • The Sand Fire in California burned more than 41,432 acres, killed two people and destroyed more than 140 homes and other structures.

Source: Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting