Insurers face a $1bn bill following storms in the US over the last month, a report by reinsurer Aon Benfield has found.
In its Global Catastrophe Recap report for May, the firm said that four periods of severe weather across the country meant that insured looses from hail and wind were likely to be around $1bn (£590m), with economic losses likely to reach several billion more.
The costliest stretch occurred in a five-day period across parts of the Midwest, the Rockies, and the Northeast, with the major cities of Chicago and Denver among the areas affected.
However, tornado activity in the year so far remains in the bottom 25th percentile of all years dating to the early 1950s, the report added.
Steve Bowen, associate director and meteorologist within Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting team, said: 'While tornado activity in the United States was fairly subdued during the month of May, there was no shortage of vigorous thunderstorm formation across the country.
'Large hail and damaging winds left considerable damage in many areas, which served as another reminder of how costly non-tornadic storm events can be for the insurance industry and local governments. Despite the relatively low activity of the 2014 tornado season, insurers are still faced with several billions of dollars in storm-related damage claims.'
The report also said that the heaviest rains in 120 years fell across portions of southeast Europe during the second half of May, causing extensive flooding in Serbia and Bosnia. At least 80 people were killed, and economic losses were estimated to be near 3.3bn (£2.7bn). However, insured losses are likely to be significantly lower due to low rates of insurance.
Among the other catastrophes highlighted in the report were several days of heavy rainfall across southern China that led to widespread flooding, killing at least 37 people and resulting in estimated economic losses of 7.4 billion Chinese yuan (£700m), according to the government's Ministry of Civil Affairs. The most severe damage was recorded in the provincial regions of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou with more than 95,000 homes damaged or destroyed by flood inundation.
An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale hit northern Thailand, killing at least one person and injuring 23 others. Total economic losses were listed at 2 billion Thai baht (£37mm), with insured losses of 500 million Thai baht (£9.1m).