Skip to main content
Opens in a new tab External site
Hurricane Dorian ties as strongest landfalling Atlantic hurricane on record - Aon catastrophe report
Tropical cyclones Dorian, Imelda, Faxai each poised for multi-billion-dollar economic loss

CHICAGO, October 11, 2019  Aon plc (NYSE:AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has 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 2019.

The report reveals that Hurricane Dorian made landfalls in the Bahamas, the United States (North Carolina), and Canada. The most catastrophic impacts occurred in the northern Bahamas as Dorian struck Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands at 185 mph; tied as the strongest landfalling hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean. Total economic and insured losses in the Bahamas alone were expected to reach well into the billions (USD) and likely to become the country’s most expensive disaster on record.  Further economic damage in the U.S. and Canada was poised to approach a combined USD1.5 billion.

Also in the US, Tropical Storm Imelda made landfall near Freeport, Texas, leading to widespread flooding following rainfall totals equal to at least a 1-in-500 year return period. Total economic damage to property, automobiles, infrastructure, and agriculture was expected to approach USD2bn, and due to most damage being caused by flooding, a much smaller portion of the economic cost will be covered by insurance.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Faxai made landfall in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture and later affected many populated areas, including Tokyo. The storm damaged a minimum of 40,000 homes, with The General Insurance Association of Japan citing that a minimum of 185,000 claims had already been filed. Total insured losses were minimally expected to approach USD5 billion, with the overall economic cost even higher.

Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “September is typically one of the most active from a meteorological perspective as it represents the historical peak of tropical cyclone activity in the Northern Hemisphere. Unsurprisingly, this also translates into being one of the costlier months for the insurance industry. The events of 2019 will mark, thus far, the most expensive month for disasters following major cyclone events including Dorian (Bahamas & the U.S.) and Faxai (Japan). While the year overall remains quieter from a loss perspective than 2017 and 2018, it is still imperative to remain cognizant of the weather risks that exist in the fourth quarter.”

Other natural hazard events to have occurred in September include:

  • Late season monsoon rains in northern India killed nearly 200 people. For the entire season, which began on June 1, more than 1,850 people have died from monsoon-related incidents. The total economic cost has neared USD10 billion.
  • Multiple days of severe thunderstorms brought periods of large hail, damaging straight-line winds, flash flooding, and isolated tornadoes from the Rockies to the Midwest from September 10-12. Total economic losses topped USD300 million, with insurance covering around USD240 million of the cost.
  • Tropical Storm Fernand made landfall in northern Mexico leading to widespread flooding. Economic costs reached MXN4.2 billion (USD215 million) in Nuevo León alone; the overall total is even higher.
  • Torrential rain in southeastern and central Spain resulted in major flooding. Total economic losses were preliminary estimated by local government at EUR2.2 billion (USD2.4 billion); though may possibly be higher. Insured losses were likely to be above EUR287 million (USD318 million).
  • Heavy seasonal rains resulted in notable riverine flooding on the river Niger at the beginning of September. Authorities in Niger reported more than 132,000 people affected by the flood, as up to 57 were killed.
  • Notable earthquake events in September included in Albania, Indonesia, and Pakistan. A combined 76 people were killed and more than 12,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

To view the full Impact Forecasting September 2019 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link: Global Catastrophe Recap

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:

About Aon
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.

Follow Aon on Twitter and LinkedIn  
Stay up to date by visiting the Aon Newsroom and hear from our expert advisors in The One Brief

Media Resources

Access international media contacts, the full library of Aon media releases, and a media kit with fact sheet and executive bios, via links below.

Media Contacts
Media Releases
Media Kit
Featured Updates