$2 Billion in Insurance Claims Due to Severe Weather & Property Damage


The number and value of insurance claims increased in the first quarter of 2017 in significant part because of the numerous severe weather events that occurred in March throughout the U.S., some of which resulted in multiple casualties.

Aon’s catastrophe model development team, Impact Forecasting, has just released the Global Catastrophe Recap report. In the US, there were 6 major events that caused economic losses that exceeded $2 billion.

The month started with an outbreak of severe weather on March 6-10 that swept through the central parts of the US. Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota among others, suffered the most significant tornado, wind and hail damage. The economic loss amounts at $1.7 billion but no human lives were lost. From this event alone, more than 200,000 insurance claims were filed.

Around the same period, March 7-9, wildfires killed 7 people and caused $100 million damages in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Colorado. The agriculture damage in Texas alone was estimated at $21 million.

On March 13-15, winter weather with blizzard-like conditions resulted in 11 deaths on the east coast of the U.S. Also, thousands of insurance claims were filed totaling about $1 billion worth of property damage.

The next significant severe weather event took place on March 20-22 across parts of the Midwest and Southwest, resulting in $700 million damages and at least 1 death. Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas were among the hardest-hit states by these severe thunderstorms.

Toward the end of the month, 2 more events were registered. An outbreak of severe weather occurred on March 26-28 in especially in Texas and Oklahoma. Thunderstorms, large hail and straight-line winds hit these states again on March 28-31 resulting in at least 1 death and hundreds of millions in property damage.

Severe weather events outside the U.S.

The U.S. was not the only country affected by severe weather. 19 people died in Ghana and thousands of homes were destroyed in Thailand due to such outbreaks. Windstorm Zeus came ashore in France claiming the lives of 2 people and causing an economic loss of $100 million.

However, Peru and Columbia suffered most due to catastrophic flooding associated with the El Niño coastal. The damage exceeds $3.1 billion and more than 300 people are reported missing.

Why businesses need commercial property insurance

It’s important for businesses to get commercial property insurance, and in some cases business interruption coverage through a business owners policy, precisely for the types of situations mentioned above. A severe weather event like the ones that occurred in March across the country can destroy the physical location of your business as well as your assets.

Natural disaster insurance covers the cost of repairs for a building damaged due to such an event. You can extend coverage for the lost revenue and equipment breakdown that resulted from this property damage.