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Flooding in China during July causes USD8.3bn of economic losses, according to Aon Benfield catastrophe report
Insurance industry faces agriculture losses from China to the U.S.



CHICAGO, Aug. 7, 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 July.

Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that flooding caused more than USD8.3 billion in economic losses across China during July, while the worst drought in decades worsened across much of the United States. Severe weather also prompted widespread damage in parts of the U.S. and Europe.

Heavy rainfall in China spawned flooding and landslides in nearly two-dozen provinces, leading to 324 deaths, at least 475,000 homes destroyed or damaged and more than 1.66 million hectares (4.1 million acres) of cropland affected, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA). Total combined economic losses were listed at CNY53.2 billion (USD8.3 billion), while the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) noted that 47,000 claims were filed with payouts in excess of CNY1.12 billion (USD176 million).

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "Much of China was affected by flooding rainfall during July, including parts of Beijing experiencing its heaviest rains in 61 years. On the opposite extreme, much of the U.S. continued to face its worst drought in several decades. Both weather events have impacted crops and the agriculture industry. To help further understand potential agriculture losses, the U.S. insurance industry has been using catastrophe models for several years. For China, Aon Benfield has responded by recently developing its Crop Reinsurance Solution (ACReS) to support this growing sector to manage its agricultural exposures."  

Additional flooding was recorded in Asia during the month, including in Japan, Indonesia and North Korea. In Japan, the most notable event occurred over five consecutive days on Kyushu as torrential rainfall prompted flooding and 870 landslides that left at least 30 people dead. Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) reported that 16,045 homes, infrastructure and agriculture had sustained varying levels of flood inundation.

Elsewhere, the worst drought in decades deepened throughout much of the United States. At least 4,313 record high temperatures were set during the month, as the heat also left more than 100 people dead. According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), up to 64% of the contiguous U.S. was listed in at least a moderate drought. More than half of all U.S. counties (~1,600) were declared disaster areas. Total economic (and insured) crop losses were anticipated to reach well into the billions of dollars (USD).

Also in the U.S., a three-day stretch early in the month saw rounds of severe thunderstorms affect parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the Northeast. Total economic losses were approximately USD450 million, while various insurers received more than 50,000 claims with payouts in excess of USD275 million.

Severe weather was also recorded across central and western Europe, where tornadoes, damaging winds and up to egg-sized hail occurred. In the Czech Republic, insured losses were listed at CZK247 million (USD12 million). Insurers in Slovenia recorded more than EUR4 million (USD5 million) in losses. In Poland, an EF-2 tornado left up to PLN20 million (USD5.9 million) in damage to forests. Storms in Georgia left 22,000 homes damaged, with economic losses listed at GEL150 million (USD91 million).

To view the full July Global Catastrophe Recap report, please visit the link below:

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

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

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing. Through its more than 60,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to deliver distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally in over 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary 2007-2010, best reinsurance intermediary 2006-2010, best captives manager 2009-2010, and best employee benefits consulting firm 2007-2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

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