Aon: Insured Losses Likely to Exceed $2B from March Storms, Wildfires

April 17, 2017

Severe weather in March led to significant damage in the central and eastern United States, racking up more than $2 billion in insured losses, according to a report published by Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team.

Tornadoes, high winds and hail on March 6 – 10 in parts of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois caused extensive damage. Around two dozen people were injured. Dozens of tornado touchdowns, up to baseball-sized hail, and straight-line winds caused major damage to residential and commercial properties, and vehicles.

Total economic losses from the storms, which also impacted the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, were estimated at $1.7 billion. Public and private insurance entities listed payouts at $1.2 billion, according to Impact Forecasting’s “Global Catastrophe Recap – March 2017.”

Major blazes burned across parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Colorado from March 7 – 9, claiming at least seven lives. The fires damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and structures, and the farming and agricultural sectors suffered major damage. A preliminary estimate of agriculture damage in Texas alone was listed at $21 million.

Severe thunderstorms across parts of the Midwest and Southeast from March 20 – 22, left least one person dead and several others injured. Residential and commercial properties, and vehicles sustained widespread damage, as up to golf ball-sized hail and winds gusting to 70 mph accompanied clusters of storms.

An outbreak of severe weather on March 26 – 28 left extensive damage in portions of the Plains, Southeast and Midwest. Among the hardest-hit areas were Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Up to softball-sized hail left homes, vehicles and business with shattered windows and dented roofs. Isolated tornadoes and straight-line winds also pummeled the region. Total economic and insured losses are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Severe thunderstorms impacted parts of the Plains, Southeast, Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic region on March 28 – 31, leaving at least one person dead. Large hail and straight-line winds resulted in widespread damage in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Virginia.

At least 25 confirmed tornadoes also touched down, including an EF2 that damaged the Virginia Beach, Va., metro area. Isolated flash flooding was also reported.

Total economic and insured losses from the late March storms are estimated to rise into the hundreds of millions.