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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Chinese flooding caused over $8bn in losses, says Aon

Flooding in China caused more than $8.3bn in economic losses last month, while the United States’ worst drought in decades worsened, Aon Benfield said this week.


Nearly two dozen Chinese provinces have been affected by flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain. These resulted in 324 deaths, at least 475,000 homes destroyed or damaged and more than 1.66 million hectares of cropland affected, according to Chinese government figures quoted in the reinsurer’s latest monthly Global catastrophe recap report.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission reported that 47,000 claims had been filed, with payouts in excess of $176m.

There was also flooding in other Asian countries, including Japan, Indonesia and North Korea. Torrential rainfall on Kyushu in Japan prompted flooding and landslides leaving at least 30 people deal and a reported 16,045 homes, infrastructure and agriculture instances of flood inundation.

Steve Jakubowski, president of the report’s authors Impact Forecasting, said: ‘Much of China was affected by flooding rainfall during July, including parts of Beijing experiencing its heaviest rains in 61 years. On the opposite extreme, much of the U.S. continued to face its worst drought in several decades. Both weather events have impacted crops and the agriculture industry.’

In the US, at least 4,313 record high temperatures were recorded during the month across the country, and the heat also left more than 100 people dead. According to the country’s National Climatic Data Centre, up to 64% of the mainland US was listed in at least a moderate drought and more than half of all US counties were declared disaster areas.

Aon Benfield said total economic and insurers crop losses were expected to reach well in to the billions of dollars.

Also in the US, severe thunderstorms affected parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the Northeast. At least one person was killed and nearly a dozen states saw widespread damage. Total economic losses are estimated at $450m and more than 50,000 claims have been received, totalling more than $275m.

In Europe, Russia’s southern Krasnodar region saw its worst flooding in decades, leaving at least 171 people dead and 584 others injured. Russian authorities confirmed that at least 7,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the worst hit cities, with total economic damages listed at $280m.

Elsewhere in Europe, severe weather was recorded across the central and western regions with tornadoes, damaged winds and egg-sized hail reported. In the Czech Republic insured losses of $12m were listed, with a further $5m in Slovenia and economic losses of $91m listed following storms in Georgia.