Aon: Global drought losses to surpass $8bn as El Nino intensifies

CHICAGO, Sept. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, today launches the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during August 2015.Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

Aon plc ( is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 69,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit:

The report reveals that in the United States, severe drought conditions persisted in western regions with total economic losses expected to reach at least USD3.0 billion – mostly attributable to agricultural damage inCalifornia. Several Caribbean and Central American nations issued alerts as droughts worsened.

Drought conditions also affected Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America during August, with combined economic losses of more than USD2.6 billionoccurring in Romania, Czech Republic, andPoland.

As El Niño continues to intensify in the coming months, it is expected that global drought losses will surpass the current forecast of USD8.0 billion in economic damage.

Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting associate director and meteorologist, said: “As we continue to see the prospect of El Niño becoming one of the strongest in decades, more and more impacts will be apparent around the world. This is already true in the form of global drought losses, as several countries have endured a severe lack of rainfall and agricultural impacts. On the flip side, tropical cyclone activity in the Pacific Ocean maintained its torrid pace in August due to above-average sea surface temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions. Multiple landfalling storms in Asia-Pacificleft considerable damage, and more activity is expected as we enter the peak of the cyclone season.”

Elsewhere during August, Super Typhoon Soudelor tracked through Saipan, Taiwan, and Chinacausing economic losses in excess of USD3.2 billion. Soudelor was followed by Typhoon Goni which wrought havoc in Philippines, the Korean peninsula, and Japan, killing at least 70 people, damaging tens of thousands of homes and causing economic losses well into the hundreds of millions (USD).

Further natural hazard events that occurred during August:

  • Tropical Storm Erika impacted Dominica, Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, killing 36 people and causing economic losses of around USD100 million.
  • Heavy monsoon rains killed hundreds of people throughout Pakistan, India, Nepal,Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
  • Record U.S. flooding in the greater Tampa, Florida metro region caused widespread property and automobile damage.
  • A severe weather outbreak prompted economic losses of USD475 million and insured losses of USD325 million in the U.S., mainly due to hail and damaging straight-line winds.
  • China experienced two severe weather outbreaks that prompted economic losses of more than USD340 million.
  • Severe weather killed 20 people in Sudan.
  • The western third of the U.S., Canada’s British Columbia province, and southern and central portions of Europe all suffered damaging wildfire outbreaks during August. The costs of fighting the fires soared to well beyond USD1.0 billion globally.
  • Heatwave conditions throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa killed at least 125 people.

To view the full Impact Forecasting August 2015 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link:

Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available:

Further information

For further information please contact the Aon Benfield PR team: Andrew Wragg (+44 207 522 8183 / 07595 217168) David Bogg or Alexandra Lewis

SOURCE Aon plc


Northern Saskatchewan wildfires had huge impact on area businesses



LAC LA RONGE, Sask. _ A strong majority of businesses surveyed in the area of La Ronge, Sask., say this year’s wildfires have impacted their viability.

That’s the result of a survey conducted by the Keewatin Career Development Corp., in cooperation with the province’s Ministry of Economy.

The survey, conducted from July 27 to Aug. 7, involved 51 out of a potential 219 businesses in La Ronge, Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Air Ronge.

More than 80 per cent of those surveyed were closed during the massive evacuation of the area and 48 per cent said the impact of the fires on their business was severe.

Randy Johns, CEO of the development corporation, said more than 90 per cent of the businesses reported the disruption affected their viability.

He admitted he was surprised, saying he thought there would be an impact but he didn’t know it would be so drastic.

“I think the business community is pretty resilient and it will recover, but it hit them in some of the pocket books, some got behind in their work, some lost customers,” said Johns.

In terms of long-term impacts, many businesses left comments saying that they’ve had to delay their grand openings or cancel plans to expand, and some are even considering selling the business altogether.

However, about 25 per cent of business responded that the fire would have no impact to their business plans.

Johns said the idea for the survey came from the development corporation’s own experience of working while being evacuated.

“While we were still evacuated we were talking with different groups about what the impact of the fire and evacuation would be on the community in general. The impact on businesses was one of the topics that we started talking about,” said Johns.

KCDC has provided the results along with recommendations to the ministry, the chamber of commerce, and to the leaders of the La Ronge-area communities.

Businesses indicated that their biggest need was for insurance services; either clarification on their policy or the availability of insurance rates after the fires.

“We’d be willing to help organize a session for businesses,” said Johns.


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Catastrophes losses hit USD46 billion

CHICAGO, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, today launches the latest edition of its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2015 report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE: AON).

Global natural disaster losses during the first half of 2015, from both an economic and insured loss perspective, were each below the 10-year (2005-2014) average. Preliminary data determined that economic losses were USD46 billion, down 58 percent from the 10-year average of USD107 billion, and insured losses were USD15 billion, down 47 percent from the 10-year average of USD28 billion.*

The percentage of global economic losses that were covered by insurance (including both private insurers and government-sponsored programs) was 31 percent. This is slightly above the 10-year average of 27 percent because the majority of the losses occurred in regions with higher insurance penetration.

By contrast, around two percent of the multi-billion-dollar economic loss from the Nepal earthquake was covered by insurance. Statistics like this show how catastrophe models can play a role in helping the insurance industry to better understand these risks and seek ways to grow insurance penetration in underserved regions.

The severe thunderstorm peril was the costliest disaster type, comprising 33 percent of the economic loss and 49 percent of the insured loss. Most of the costs were attributed to strong convective thunderstorm events that prompted widespread hail, damaging straight-line winds, tornadoes, and major flash flooding in the United States during the months of April, May and June.

A clear majority (73 percent) of the insured losses were sustained in the United States due to an active winter season combined with numerous spring severe convective storm events. Asia Pacific was second with 14 percent and Europe, Middle East & Africa was third with 11 percent of the insured loss.

Steve Bowen, associate director and meteorologist with Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “The first half of 2015 was the quietest on an economic and insured loss basis since 2006. Despite having some well-documented disaster events in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe, it was a largely manageable initial six months of the year for governments and the insurance industry. Looking ahead to the rest of 2015, the continued strengthening of what could be the strongest El Nino in nearly two-decades is poised to have far-reaching impacts around the globe. How that translates to disaster losses remains to be seen, but something to keep a close eye on in the coming months.”

To view the full Impact Forecasting June 2015 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link:

To view the video presented by the report’s author Steve Bowen, please follow the link:

Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated regularly as new data become available:

Saskatchewan government gives fire evacuees more time to make overdue payments

REGINA _ People forced out of their homes by wildfires across northern Saskatchewan are getting temporary relief on overdue payments.

Premier Brad Wall says the province’s Crown utilities and its insurance company SGI are waiving bills, premiums and driver’s licence fees until Sept. 1.

He says SaskTel, SaskPower and SaskEnergy won’t go ahead with collection actions on overdue accounts and won’t disconnect utilities for non-payment.

As well, customers are to receive a future credit for about a month’s worth of fixed-service delivery fees.

Licence plates and driver’s licences that may expire during the evacuation period will be extended.

Walls says being away from one’s home is stressful enough without having to worry about paying bills.

Small-to-medium businesses directly affected by the fires can also apply for relief from penalties and interest charges for filing late provincial sales tax returns.


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