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$2bn+ San Francisco earthquake reveals just 1 in 20 residents had EQ insurance in epicentral region, according to Impact Forecasting disaster study

CHICAGO, Sept. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, today releases the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during August 2014. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

http://www.aon.com) is a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. There are 37,000 employees working in Aon's 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Backed by broad resources, industry knowledge and technical expertise, Aon professionals help a wide range of clients develop effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions." border="0" alt="Aon Corporation (http://www.aon.com) is a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. There are 37,000 employees working in Aon's 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Backed by broad resources, industry knowledge and technical expertise, Aon professionals help a wide range of clients develop effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions." align="middle" src="http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20100719/AQ37264LOGO"/>

The report reveals that the strongest earthquake to strike the U.S. San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years was recorded on the morning of August 24, injuring at least 258 people and causing widespread damage to property, infrastructure, and wineries. Total economic losses from the event were expected to breach USD2.0 billion, with insured losses likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD) due to the low residential earthquake insurance penetration in Napa County and the locality. Napa County has a residential earthquake insurance penetration rate of 5.3% compared to the average of ~10% seen in surrounding counties.

The magnitude-6.0 tremor had an epicenter located 6.0 kilometers (3.7 miles) northwest of American Canyon, California. In the city of Napa alone, at least 1,120 homes and other buildings were structurally damaged.

Meanwhile, a USGS-registered magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck Yunnan Province in southwest China on August 3, killing at least 617 people and injuring more than 3,143 others. Total economic losses were forecast to be at least CNY38.5 billion (USD6.3 billion), with the heaviest impact sustained near the epicenter in Ludian County. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) indicated that more than 25,800 homes collapsed and an additional 200,000 sustained varying levels of damage.

Earthquake events were also recorded in Peru, Ecuador, Iran, Algeria, and South Africa during August.

Steve Bowen, associate director and meteorologist within Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting team, said: "Despite the upcoming historical peaks of the Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclone seasons, earthquakes were the primary focus during the month of August; especially following the magnitude-6.0 event in Northern California's Bay Area. Residential earthquake insurance penetration rates have gradually lowered in California during the past two decades from 33 percent in 1996 to roughly 10 percent today, and the August 24 Napa County event serves as a reminder of the unpredictability and costly impacts of the peril. While not expected to be as costly to insurers as the Northridge event in 1994, and possibly Loma Prieta in 1989, the Napa event proves the need of consistently analyzing the risks associated with U.S. earthquakes through such avenues as catastrophe modeling."

Elsewhere, excessive rainfall led to substantial flooding in parts of the U.S. Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, killing at least one person. Some of the most severe damage was recorded in the greater Detroit, MI metro region, where two months' worth of precipitation fell in just 24 hours. Similar rainfall and flooding occurred in Baltimore, MD and Long Island, NY. Total economic losses were expected to top USD2.0 billion, with more than USD1.0 billion cited in Detroit metro alone. Insured losses to private insurers and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were in excess of USD500 million.

Multiple stretches of heavy rains and thunderstorms led to flooding throughout several sections of China during August. At least 37 people died, more than 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and tens of thousands of hectares (acres) of crops were submerged. Total aggregated economic losses were expected to be at least USD1.2 billion.

Elsewhere in Asia, monsoonal rains and active weather patterns led flooding and landslides that left a combined 573 casualties in parts of India, Nepal, Japan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and South Korea.

Heavy rainfall and flash flood events were also registered in Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

Hurricane Iselle became only the second tropical storm since 1958 to make landfall on Hawaii's Big Island, killing one person. Total economic damages were listed at USD66 million, with most losses attributed to the agricultural sector.

Super Typhoon Halong made landfall in Japan at tropical storm strength, bringing torrential rains and gusty winds to southern and central sections of the country. Ten people were killed and 96 others injured, amid total economic damage projected to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD). Parts of Shikoku Island recorded over 1,080 millimeters (42.56 inches) of rainfall during a 72-hour period as the storm came ashore.

Severe drought conditions continued and worsened in August in Guatemala and Sri Lanka as the agricultural sector was hit hard in both countries.

To view the full Impact Forecasting August 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap report, please follow the link below:

http://bit.ly/1oJp6fA 

To access the Catastrophe Insight website, please visit:

www.aonbenfield.com/catastropheinsight   

About Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield, a division of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), is the world's leading reinsurance intermediary and full-service capital advisor. We empower our clients to better understand, manage and transfer risk through innovative solutions and personalized access to all forms of global reinsurance capital across treaty, facultative and capital markets. As a trusted advocate, we deliver local reach to the world's markets, an unparalleled investment in innovative analytics, including catastrophe management, actuarial and rating agency advisory. Through our professionals' expertise and experience, we advise clients in making optimal capital choices that will empower results and improve operational effectiveness for their business. With more than 80 offices in 50 countries, our worldwide client base has access to the broadest portfolio of integrated capital solutions and services. To learn how Aon Benfield helps empower results, please visit aonbenfield.com.

About Impact Forecasting® LLC

Impact Forecasting is a catastrophe modeling center of excellence whose seismologists, meteorologists, engineers, mathematicians, finance risk management and insurance professionals analyze the financial implications of natural and man-made catastrophes around the world.  Impact Forecasting's experts develop software tools and models that help clients understand risks from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires and terrorist attacks on property, casualty and crop insurers and reinsurers.  To find out more about Impact Forecasting® LLC, visit www.impactforecasting.com.

 

Media Contacts:






David Bogg

Andrew Wragg 

Alexandra Lewis

Aon Benfield 

Aon Benfield 

Aon Benfield

t: +44 (0)20 7522 4016 

t: +44 (0)20 7522 8183 

t: +44 (0)20 7882 0541

e:[email protected]

e:[email protected]

e:[email protected]

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SOURCE Aon plc

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