As with Europe, 2013 was a year of flood in the Americas, with notable events in Alberta, Toronto and Colorado. The flood event in the Calgary, Alberta area of Canada resulted in estimated insured losses of around USD2 billion, with economic losses of USD4.8 billion (1). This event, combined with flash-flooding in Toronto, Ontario in July, meant Canada experienced its most expensive insured catastrophe loss year on record.
Posts Tagged ‘Windstorm’
2013 provided a respite for the (re)insurance industry following above-average losses in 2011 and 2012, with insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters estimated at around USD40 billion, according to Guy Carpenter & Company (see Figure 1). This is considerably less than the ten-year average loss of approximately USD60 billion and well below the most significant years of 2005 and 2011 (see Figure 2 (Inflation adjusted)). This can be partly attributed to the unusually quiet 2013 Atlantic tropical season. About 47 percent of insured losses in 2013 were reported in the Americas, 31 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia and Australasia (see Figure 3). Continue reading…
Windstorm Xaver: A powerful storm named Xaver battered Northern Europe with hurricane-force wind gusts and massive storm surges on December 6, causing widespread property damage and severely disrupting transport networks.
U.S. Severe Weather Outbreak, November 2013: A late-season severe convective outbreak has affected a large portion of the Midwest, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes including Southern Ontario. This widespread and violent outbreak has left absolute damage in communities such as Washington, Illinois. The outbreak occurred ahead of a strong cold front affecting the area. Numerous tornadoes have been reported, primarily in Indiana and Illinois, with some preliminary reports as high as an EF-4 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Update: Super Typhoon Haiyan: Our first thoughts and concerns are with those lost or recovering from the exceptionally severe impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, and meets or surpasses the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history.
Tropical Storm Karen: Tropical Storm Karen is poised to become the first named storm to hit the United States this season. Karen, as of 2PM Eastern Daylight Time, was 240 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 275 miles south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.
A powerful storm named Xaver battered Northern Europe with hurricane-force wind gusts and massive storm surges on December 6, causing widespread property damage and severely disrupting transport networks. The most severe damage was reported in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. Around 1,400 properties were flooded in the United Kingdom alone after eastern coastal regions experienced the most severe storm surge since 1953. Coastal areas of Germany, including the city of Hamburg, were also subjected to severe surges and flooding. Less severe damage was reported elsewhere in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Poland. Reports said at least eight people were killed by the storm’s severe weather across Northern Europe and more than 500,000 homes lost power at the height of the storm. It remains too early to determine the likely economic and insured costs from Xaver. PERILS, the independent provider of European catastrophe insurance loss data, is currently analysing the impact of Xaver to assess whether it has caused a sufficient loss to qualify for full reporting under its methodology.
Our first thoughts and concerns are with those lost or recovering from the exceptionally severe impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan is among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, and meets or surpasses the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history. Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on November 8 near Guiuan, with estimated 1-minute wind speeds of 185-195 mph (300-315 km/hr). A second landfall occurred on November 10 as a minimal Typhoon near the Vietnam-China border.
Super Typhoon Haiyan meets or surpasses the record of the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history, and is among the strongest ever recorded. Haiyan made landfall during the early morning hours of November 8 near Guiuan, with estimated 1-minute wind speeds of 185-195 mph (300-315 km/hr). While it is still too early to fully assess impacts to the area, severe to complete wind damage is a near certainty adjacent to the storm track, with wave battering and water velocity damage most severe within 20 miles (32 km) of the storm track.
Richard Banyard, Senior Vice President, Lance Finley, Managing Director, Jane Furnas, Senior Vice President and Scott VanKoughnett, Senior Vice President
Insurance policies are carefully drafted to outline coverage that is needed by policyholders while also specifying those areas where coverage is not expected to apply - the goal is to provide contract certainty, not in the usual sense of timeliness of contract signing, but from the perspective of specific policy language. Sometimes, however, contract certainty is not so certain. Recent examples have shown that insurers are increasingly facing reinterpretations of their policies by the judicial system, regulators, politicians and even the public via social media, all exerting pressure on insurers to provide coverage not previously anticipated by the drafters and underwriters of those policies. As these claims are presented to the reinsurance market, pressure is also put on reinsurers to provide coverage that they may not have originally contemplated. Insurers need to know that their reinsurers partner with them in such situations, and that reinsurance contracts provide appropriate flexibility to help ensure the reinsurers’ promise to pay. The comments made in this article are intended solely to foster discussion on this topic.
Guillermo Franco, Head of Catastrophe Risk Research - EMEA
It seems reasonable to expect a degree of uncertainty in catastrophe model results. It is not uncommon, however, for models to produce results that differ by several factors. In order to assess how much of this uncertainty is epistemic, due to our incomplete knowledge of the physical phenomena involved, this existing uncertainty needs to be quantified.
Tropical Storm Karen is poised to become the first named storm to hit the United States this season. Karen, as of 2PM Eastern Daylight Time, was 240 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 275 miles south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm is moving north-northwest at ten miles per hour. According to the NHC, a turn toward the north and a decrease in forward speed are expected by early Saturday, with a turn toward the northeast on Sunday.