January floods hit Australia, Indonesia for nearly $6 billion Aon Benfield says
Severe flooding in Australia and Indonesia and the worst tornado outbreak in the US since 2008 drove global insurance costs in January, causing economic losses of more than $6 billion and insured losses of about $800 million.
Thats according to a new report released by Aon Benfields Impact Forecasting, the companys catastrophe model development centre.
Floods in Australia killed at least six people and generated $313 million in insured losses, the report said. Economic losses in Queensland alone totalled $2.5 billion. The nation endured flooding in 2011 as well which led about $1.6 billion in insured losses. Wildfires led to another $100 million in insured losses for Australia last month, most of it in Tasmania, Impact Forecasting said.
The fact that theyve seen in two of the last three years multibillion-dollar flood events is certainly the biggest takeaway globally, said Steve Bowen, a senior scientist and meteorologist at Impact Forecasting.
Torrential rains flooded Jakarta, killing at least 41 people, damaging or destroying more than 100,000 homes and causing insured losses exceeding $311 million. The Indonesian government has estimated economic damage at $3.3 billion, according to the report. The flooding was the worst in the region since 2007.
A flurry of tornadoes in the US in late January killed at least three people and may have caused as much as $75 million in insured losses, the report said. Fifty tornadoes touched down during the period, tying 2008 as the largest January outbreak since 1950.
The Northern Hemisphere didnt see a major winter weather event last month, according to the report. Europe escaped without experiencing a strong windstorm akin to Klaus in 2009, Kyrill in 2007 or Erwin in 2005.