Aon: Catastrophe losses top $1bn in January

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  • Braving the elements: A woman struggles to cross a street in Boston, Massachusetts, as winter storm Juno brought blizzard conditions to the region last month. Two winter storms in the northeast United States caused an estimated $500 million of economic losses in January

    Braving the elements: A woman struggles to cross a street in Boston, Massachusetts, as winter storm Juno brought blizzard conditions to the region last month. Two winter storms in the northeast United States caused an estimated $500 million of economic losses in January
    ((Photo by Scott Eisen/Bloomberg))


Economic losses caused by storms, earthquakes and other natural catastrophes easily topped $1 billion in January, according to estimates by Aon Benfield.

Four windstorms in Europe and a powerful Nor’easter in the northeastern region of the United States caused some of the larger economic losses around the world during the month.

Record snow fell in parts of the northeast US as two winter storms hit the region. Parts of Massachusetts had three feet of snow as a result of the storms, while major cities were brought to a virtual standstill as transit systems closes.

Aon Benfield, which is part of reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor Aon, said economic losses associated with the storms are estimated to be $500 million at a minimum, including more than $200 million for New York City alone.

In its latest Global Catastrophe Recap, the firm has listed major catastrophes across the world and their estimated economic losses.

Across the Atlantic, four windstorms, named Elon, Felix, Gunter and Hermann, which hit Ireland, the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Poland, caused hundred of millions of dollars in economic and insured losses.

A winter storm in China, which affected four provinces, including Jiangsu, caused economic losses to property and agriculture listed at more than $250 million.

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, and a 5.3 magnitude earthquake in Yunnan province, affected 17,500 homes and properties, and caused an estimated combined loss of $16 million

Snow and bitterly cold weather across the Middle East, including parts of Egypt, Syria and Lebanon resulted in losses of nearly $100 million.

Massive flooding in the African countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, killed 307 people, destroyed more than 31,000 homes and displaced almost 300,000 people. It is estimated the flooding has caused $450 million in economic losses.

Meanwhile, wildfires in southeastern Australia destroyed more than 150 properties, triggering 1,000 insurance claims that amounted to $26 million.

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Published Feb 26, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm)

Aon: Catastrophe losses top $1bn in January

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