CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today launched the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during September 2020.
The report reveals that significant wildfires continued to burn across parts of the United States throughout September, killing at least 43 people. In 2020 to date, the United States has reported 22 fires with at least 100,000 acres (40,468 hectares) burned; a record since the statistic was first tracked in 1997. In California alone, five of the state's six largest fire events since 1932 were recorded in August and September, along with five of the state's top 20 most destructive fires on record. Total direct economic costs from the fires across California, Oregon and Washington were likely to reach well into the billions of dollars, resulting in a multi-billion-dollar payout for insurers.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Sally came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16 as a Category 2 storm. At least eight fatalities and several injuries were reported. Total economic losses were estimated beyond $5 billion, while public and private insurance losses exceeded $2.5 billion.
Tropical Storm Beta made landfall along the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula near Port O'Connor, Texas, on September 21, bringing heavy rainfall and flash flooding to coastal Texas and Louisiana. One of the top five wettest three-day rainfall totals on record in Houston was recorded, along with major flooding elsewhere in Harris County, Texas. Total economic losses were estimated to exceed $100 million.
Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon, said: "The third quarter is historically the costliest of the year given the peak of tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Basins. While September did result in notable storm landfalls in the United States, Belize, South Korea, and Portugal, the re-emergence of the wildfire peril captured a significant number of headlines. Historic fires from the perspective of structures lost and acres burned left a lasting impact in the Western United States. The wildfires, which were amplified by hot and dry weather in combination with abundant available fuel, ensured a record sixth consecutive multi-billion-dollar payout year for global insurers with this peril. This comes as the industry continues to put more focus on the increased annual costs arising from secondary perils."
Further natural hazard events to have occurred in September include:
To view the full Impact Forecasting September 2020 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:
Notes to editors
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.
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