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Windstorm Christian’s billion-dollar insurance toll highlights October’s natural disasters, according to Impact Forecasting global catastrophe report

Chicago, November 7, 2013 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 October 2013. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

The report reveals that Windstorm Christian moved across western and northern Europe during the latter half of October, bringing hurricane-force wind gusts and torrential rains to several countries. At least 18 people were killed. The heaviest damage was sustained in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where a peak wind gust of 195 kph (120 mph) was recorded in Denmark. More than 1.2 million power outages were recorded and travel was severely disrupted throughout the continent.

Reports from European insurers suggest that payouts are likely to breach EUR1.0 billion (USD1.35 billion), with the overall total economic losses even higher. Christian becomes the costliest European windstorm since Xynthia in February 2010.

Adam Podlaha, Head of Impact Forecasting, said: “The recent windstorm Christian serves as a reminder of the peak zone status for this peril in Europe and the need to constantly understand its risk. It has given us the opportunity to test various components of the newly developed Impact Forecasting windstorm model for Europe. We also had the chance to use third party hazard forecast data to estimate the possible losses even before the storm’s initial landfall. This was proven by the fact that we were able to estimate the magnitude of the event two days prior to Christian arriving in the United Kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Cyclone Phailin became the strongest system to make landfall in India since 1999, coming ashore in the eastern state of Odisha. At least 44 people were killed.  Tremendous rains, an estimated 3.5-meter (11.0-foot) storm surge, and powerful winds led to catastrophic damage to more than 430,000 homes and 668,000 hectares (1.65 million) acres of cropland. Total economic losses were estimated at INR65 billion (USD1.1 billion). The General Insurance Corporation of India cited insured losses of at least INR10 billion (USD162 million) – primarily associated with crop losses.

Typhoon Fitow made landfall in China after first skirting Japan’s southern Ryukyu Islands. At least eight people were killed. Significant damage was inflicted in the Chinese provincial regions of Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai as a large storm surge, winds gusting beyond 160 kph (100 mph) and torrential rainfall led to nearly 95,000 homes being damaged and 75,000 hectares (185,000 acres) of cropland submerged. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) cited economic losses at CNY41 billion (USD6.7 billion).

Additional typhoon impacts in Asia during October were registered in association with Typhoon Nari (34 deaths and USD153 million in economic losses in the Philippines and Vietnam), Typhoon Wipha (38 deaths, 107 injuries and nearly 6,500 homes damaged in Japan), and Typhoon Krosa (three dead and 28,220 homes damaged in the Philippines).

According to data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), an October record of seven typhoons developed in the Western Pacific Ocean Basin.  

Elsewhere during October, more than 100 bushfires were ignited across Australia’s New South Wales (NSW). Two people were killed, and a combined 330 homes and 51 other buildings were damaged or destroyed. The Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe and noted that at least 1,041 claims had been filed with payouts in excess of AUD145 million (USD139 million). Total economic losses were even higher.

A powerful earthquake struck the central Philippines, killing at least 222 people and injuring 976 others. Significant damage was reported in the central provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor, where 73,002 homes and thousands of commercial structures and churches were damaged or destroyed. The government listed damage and reconstruction costs at PHP7.0 billion (USD163 million).

In the United States, an early season winter storm brought record snowfall to portions of the Rockies and the High Plains. In South Dakota, the snowfall caused a substantial number of cattle to perish. The same system also spawned an EF-4 tornado in Wayne, Nebraska. Economic losses were estimated at USD100 million.

A separate system spawned 40 tornado touchdowns at the end of October, though much of the damage was due to straight-line winds and flooding across parts of the Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley and the Northeast.

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

To access the Catastrophe Insight website, please visit:                       


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

For further information: +44 207 882 0541
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