U.S. Severe Weather Insurance Losses Approach USD1 Billion In April

CHICAGO, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), today releases the latest edition of its Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during April.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm’s catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that a series of severe weather events across central and southern sections of the United States caused upwards of USD1 billion in insured losses. Economic losses were even higher.

During the month’s most notable outbreak, multiple central states sustained widespread tornado, hail and wind damage. At least 94 tornado touchdowns were recorded during a 72-hour stretch. In Kansas, an EF-3 tornado just outside the city of Wichita affected at least 777 homes and 165 businesses. Additional tornado damage occurred in southwest Iowa and northwest Oklahoma, killing at least six people. Total insured losses from the outbreak were expected to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, a severe weather outbreak in Texas, which comprised at least 21 tornadoes and widespread hail, damaged more than 1,100 homes alone in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metro region. Total economic losses were estimated at approximately USD1 billion, while various insurers received at least 105,000 claims with payouts in excess of USD650 million.

In South America, at least 18 people were killed and 20 more were injured as severe weather struck the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, affecting at least 32,000 homes.

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: “While not as substantial as the historic 2011 season to this point in terms of overall losses, the 2012 severe weather season has certainly caused significant damage across portions of central and southern sections of the United States. Tornado frequency data dating to 1991 indicates that May is typically the most active tornado month of the year in the U.S., which is a warning to all residents and insurers to remain cognizant to potential storm threats.”

Flooding was prevalent across South America during April, damaging at least 13,654 homes in Paraguay and killing at least 19 people in Colombia and Peru, where floods destroyed more than 25,000 homes.

In China, several events of hail and damaging winds affected six separate provinces during the month. The first event damaged more than 20,000 homes and caused a CNY750 million (USD120 million) economic loss. The second event killed at least 12 people, damaged 25,400 homes and resulting in a CNY530 million (USD84 million) economic loss.

In Vietnam, high winds and hail destroyed more than 4,780 homes in four northern provinces, killing at least two people, and causing a total economic loss estimated at VND104 billion (USD5 million).

In Japan, a powerful spring storm system brought typhoon-strength winds across much of the country. At least four people died and 372 others were injured. More than 520,000 Tohoku Electric Power Company customers lost electricity, and transportation via air and rail was delayed or cancelled.

Typhoon Pakhar became the first landfalling cyclone of 2012 in the Northwest Pacific as it came ashore in southern Vietnam. At least two people were killed and nine others were injured as the storm damaged more than 5,000 homes and structures in addition to infrastructure and agriculture.

To view the full April Global Catastrophe Recap report, please visit the link below: http://thoughtleadership.aonbenfield.com/Documents/201204_if_monthly_cat_reca…                                                     

About Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield, a division of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), is the world’s leading reinsurance intermediary and full-service capital advisor. We empower our clients to better understand, manage and transfer risk through innovative solutions and personalized access to all forms of global reinsurance capital across treaty, facultative and capital markets. As a trusted advocate, we deliver local reach to the world’s markets, an unparalleled investment in innovative analytics, including catastrophe management, actuarial and rating agency advisory. Through our professionals’ expertise and experience, we advise clients in making optimal capital choices that will empower results and improve operational effectiveness for their business. With more than 80 offices in 50 countries, our worldwide client base has access to the broadest portfolio of integrated capital solutions and services. To learn how Aon Benfield helps empower results, please visit aonbenfield.com.

About Impact Forecasting® LLC

Impact Forecasting is a catastrophe modeling center of excellence whose seismologists, meteorologists, engineers, mathematicians, finance risk management and insurance professionals analyze the financial implications of natural and man-made catastrophes around the world.  Impact Forecasting’s experts develop software tools and models that help clients understand risks from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires and terrorist attacks on property, casualty and crop insurers and reinsurers.  To find out more about Impact Forecasting® LLC, visit www.impactforecasting.com.

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world’s best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

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