Asia: Top 3 costliest Nat CAT events in April exceed US$6 bln economic losses
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jun 2015
The top three costliest Nat CAT events in Asia for the month of April reached US$6.27 billion in economic losses, according to Aon Benfield’s “Global Catastrophe Recap”.
The costliest was the magnitude-7.8 earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April causing massive devastation and major loss of life throughout the region. The death toll was expected to approach 10,000, with the majority occurring in Nepal. Lives were also lost on Mount Everest and in India, China, and Bangladesh.
More than 15,000 others sustained injuries as the main tremor and subsequent aftershocks damaged or destroyed more than 700,000 homes and other structures. Extensive damage was also noted to dozens of historical structures throughout the region. Economic losses were expected to approach and possibly exceed US$5 billion. However, very low insurance penetration in the region meant that merely a fraction of the total damages were insured.
New South Wales storms
In Australia, an intense East Coast Low impacted portions of New South Wales from 19-22 April, killing at least three people. The strong thunderstorms brought winds gusting to 135 kph and torrential flooding rains for numerous communities along the coastline, including Sydney.
The Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe for the event as 68,243 claims were filed with payouts totalling A$301 million (US$240 million). Total economic losses were estimated at A$1 billion (US$785 million).
China’s severe weather
Severe weather in China on 27-29 April resulted in two deaths, more than 36,500 claims and economic loss exceeding US$485 million.