September a costly month for disasters

A sign showing a hurricane evacuation route, with bad weather looming.

The most recent Global Catastrophe Recap report from Aon’s Impact Forecasting Team reveals that natural catastrophes cost the global economy ‘tens of billions’ in September.

The two tropical cyclones that hit the US – Tropical Storms Gordon and Florence – alone resulted in projected economic losses of at least $10 billion, with insured losses likely to reach the low billions due to a low level of flood insurance penetration. Japan, meanwhile, suffered the wrath of Typhoon Jebi, with nearly 486,000 insurance claims filed as a result and a multi-billion-dollar payout expected.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut caused damage in China, the Philippines and Hong Kong, with local insurance industries expected to pay out at least $1 billion if not more. Major earthquakes were also registered in Sulawesi Island and on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, with total economic damage from the former expected to reach or exceed $1 billion, and over 12,000 insurance claims filed for the latter. The world also saw significant flooding and tornadoes across the month.

“September will be recorded as the costliest month so far of 2018, as global economic losses from natural catastrophes are expected to reach into the tens of billions of dollars,” said meteorologist Steve Bowen, Director of Impact Forecasting. “A series of significant catastrophes were poised to cause tens of billions in economic damage. Each of these events were also noteworthy since the majority of losses are likely to be uninsured. This once again highlights that whether a country is considered mature or emerging, there continue to be gaps in insurance coverage on either a market-wide or individual peril basis. As natural peril risks increase, it becomes even more important to close those gaps to help people in the recovery process.”