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Insurers set for 100’s of millions in losses from EU storms, US winter weather: Aon

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Insurance and reinsurance broker Aon expects the industry faces hundreds of millions in losses from recent windstorm events in Europe, as well as winter storms and severe weather in the United States.

Weather image from DreamaticoIn Europe, two more severe windstorms, Isha and Jocelyn, struck and brought the most impactful weather to Ireland and the United Kingdom in the past week.

Damaging winds were experienced in some parts of Western, Northern, and Central Europe between January 21st and 24th, Aon’s Impact Forecasting unit explained.

“Severe weather left several people dead and injured and caused total aggregated economic and insured losses in the hundreds of millions of EUR,” the company said.

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Windstorm Isha was also known as storm Iris by the FU Berlin naming, while Jocelyn was also named storm Jitka.

Wind gusts from both storms reached close to 100 mph and Aon notes that more than 630,000 customers experienced power outages due to the storms, about 400,000 across the UK and more than 230,000 in Ireland.

Aon commented that, “The impacts generated by both storms were moderate. Isha and Jocelyn resulted in lower aggregate damages compared to initial model projections. However, total economic and insured losses from the events are likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of EUR.

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“After substantial wind-related losses caused by the storms Ciarán and Zoltan, this will be another notable event for European insurers in a relatively active season.”

In the United States, Aon said that for now three straight weeks, most of the US has been impacted by several, powerful winter storms.

In January alone, Aon now says that aggregated economic and insured losses from the US winter storms and severe weather will likely reach into the hundreds of millions USD, possibly higher.

Approximately 92 people have died because of the continuous winter storms that have hit the US since the beginning of January, Aon explained.

Flooding has been a particular issue, with widespread damage in southern California, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Aon said, “As of January 24, more than 1,000 people have filled out a flood damage survey issued by San Diego County officials. This, along with the growing list of aggregated winter storm impacts across the U.S., will likely push total economic and insured losses into the hundreds of millions USD, possibly higher.”

These events appear most likely to drive more retained losses for primary insurers, but for those with aggregate reinsurance covers there could be additional erosion of deductibles as a result of more costly winter weather.

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