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Europe faces $2.25bn economic loss from December windstorms, according to Impact Forecasting catastrophe report

CHICAGO, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, today releases the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during December 2013. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).


The report reveals that Europe was impacted by a series of windstorms during the month, including Windstorm Xaver, which moved through the north of the continent killing at least 15 people and producing insured losses of around EUR800 million (USD1.1 billion), with Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, and Poland the most affected.

Windstorm Dirk brought strong winds and heavy rain to Western and Northern Europe, killing at least six people and resulting in a total insured loss of around EUR360 million (USD500 million). Damage was greatest in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Poland, while areas of Scandinavia were also affected.

Combined economic losses from Xaver and Dirk were forecast to be at least USD2.25bn.

Adam Podlaha, Head of Impact Forecasting, said: "The clustered pattern of windstorms seen across western and northern Europe in December has emphasized the importance of being able to capture this phenomenon in catastrophe models. Impact Forecasting's new European windstorm model replicates such clustering patterns by using a realistic sequence of storms originating directly from highly advanced global climate models."

Elsewhere during December, stretches of inclement winter weather also affected North America as a broad storm system swept across the entire United States killing at least 18 people and resulting in total economic losses in excess of USD100 million. Insured losses in Texas alone were listed at USD30 million.

Another major winter storm brought heavy snow, freezing rain and ice to the central and eastern U.S. as well as eastern Canada, killing a total of 29 people. Total economic and insured losses for the U.S. and Canada were separately listed as reaching hundreds of millions of dollars (USD).

Meanwhile, one of the strongest winter storms in years impacted the Middle East in December, killing at least 10 people and producing total combined economic losses of around USD500 million. Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Cyprus were all affected.

Some of the worst flooding in 90 years affected parts of southeastern Brazil, killing at least 48 people. The Brazilian government allocated BRL3.2 billion (USD1.4 billion) for flood recovery, with the hardest-hit areas including the states of Espiritu Santo and Minas Gerais.

Heavy snow and rain affected China's provincial regions of Hainan, Yunnan and Sichuan, leaving 90,000 people homeless. Total economic losses were listed at CNY2.5 billion (USD410 million).

Seasonal monsoon rains resulted in floods across eastern Malaysia, killing at least four people and resulting in total economic losses estimated at millions of dollars (USD), with more than 75,000 people evacuated.

To view the full Impact Forecasting December 2013 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link below:

To access the Catastrophe Insight website, please visit:            

Impact Forecasting is scheduled to launch its Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report on Monday, January 13, which will provide a comprehensive analysis of the natural peril events that occurred during 2013. The report will also include historical loss data trend analysis for the U.S., Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and a wide range of climatological data.       

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

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