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November North America Hurricane Landfalls Add Estimated $9 Billion to Atlantic Seasonal Financial Toll, According to Aon Catastrophe Report
Record-setting tropical cyclones also make landfall in the Philippines and Somalia during the month

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 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 November 2020.

The report reveals that Hurricane Eta made landfall and caused extensive losses in Nicaragua, before moving to Honduras and Guatemala, and subsequently making landfall in south central Cuba as a tropical storm. Total economic losses in Central America were estimated at nearly $7 billion, most of which were uninsured.

Eta later made two landfalls in Florida as a tropical storm, prompting locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding, storm surge, and tropical storm-force wind gusts across the state. Total U.S. economic losses were tentatively estimated at $1.1 billion, with public and private insurers covering approximately half of the loss.

Hurricane Iota became the first Category 5 hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Season on November 16, making landfall in Nicaragua on the same day. The storm produced dangerous coastal and inland flooding in addition to high wind across Central America, with extensive impacts experienced in Nicaragua and Honduras. Damage was compounded as many localities were still recovering from the impacts of Hurricane Eta. Total economic losses were expected to reach $1.25 billion, most of which will be uninsured.

In Asia, Super Typhoon Goni became the strongest storm at landfall in recorded history. At its peak, Goni attained one-minute average sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph), before making landfall near Bato town in Catanduanes Province of the Philippines on November 1. At least 31 people were killed and nearly 400 others were injured. Approximately 250,000 homes and thousands of other structures were damaged or destroyed, and a vast area of agricultural land was also affected. Economic losses to agriculture and infrastructure alone were estimated at PHP20 billion ($415 million), amid an overall economic toll expected to approach $1 billion.

Michal Lörinc, catastrophe analyst for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “While not historically one of the most active months for tropical cyclones, November 2020 set multiple records. Most notable was the landfall of Typhoon Goni in the Philippines, which unofficially came ashore as the strongest landfalling global storm on record. Hurricanes Eta and Iota became two of the fastest-intensifying storms in the Atlantic, and Iota was the latest-forming Category 5 storm on record for the basin. While 2020 storms have not set any new financial loss milestones, the scientific records serve as a reminder of the risks posed to both developed and emerging markets.”

Further natural hazard events to have occurred in November include:

  • Four notable severe weather outbreaks impacted the United States during the month of November with straight-line winds, tornadoes and large hail. Compound economic losses were estimated to exceed $1 billion, with the most notable effects in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
  • Extremely intense rainfall hit the Valencian Community region in eastern Spain on November 5-6, causing notable flooding. The most affected areas were Ribera Alta and Ribera Baixa. The Spanish Insurance Consortium expected approximately 12,000 property claims and losses of EUR82 million ($99 million). Overall economic losses, including agriculture and infrastructure sectors, were even higher.
  • Tropical Cyclone Gati came ashore near the Puntland’s Cape Hafun in Somalia on November 22, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 165 kph (105 mph) – the strongest storm on record to strike the arid nation of Somalia. Gati produced heavy rainfall, hurricane-force winds and destructive storm surge in northern parts of the country, causing at least eight casualties. Some areas recorded nearly double their annual rainfall in a matter of 48 hours. Thousands of homes and other structures were damaged. The economic toll was estimated in the millions of dollars.
  • Typhoon Vamco crossed the Philippines on November 11-12, before striking Vietnam on November 15. At least 200,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed and at least 99 people were killed. Total economic losses were estimated to top PHP50 billion ($1 billion) in the Philippines alone, including roughly PHP20 billion ($415 million) to agriculture and infrastructure.

To view the full Impact Forecasting November 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

  • All dollar references are USD, unless otherwise stated.
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