Aon Benfield: Losses From April Weather Outbreaks Could Top $4B

A total of 881 tornadoes have been documented in 2011, and at least 305 of them hit the U.S. between April 25 and 28, making it the largest outbreak in history, according to the NOAA. A total of 881 tornadoes have been documented in 2011, and at least 305 of them hit the U.S. between April 25 and 28, making it the largest outbreak in history, according to the NOAA.

NU Online News Service, May 5, 12:10 p.m. EST

Aon Benfield says at least five severe weather-related events in the U.S. in April caused insured losses of more than $4 billion.

The reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon Corp. released its monthly catastrophe report, which says tornadoes, hail and high winds in the Midwest, Plains, and South states throughout the month produced hundreds of thousands of claims and a record number of tornadoes within a 24-hour period late in the month.

“No one could have expected such an intense series of storms and the consequent level of destruction that was witnessed during April,” says Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting, in a statement.

April 2011 Catastrophe RecapAPRIL DISASTER SLIDESHOWS

Insured losses in Alabama already reached $1 billion from a historic tornado outbreak in late April.

Catastrophe-risk modeler EQECAT says the tornadoes are estimated to have caused $2 billion to $5 billion in insured losses in Alabama and surrounding states.

Additionally, wildfires in Texas scorched about 1.5 million acres and destroyed more than 300 homes, businesses and churches. Total insured losses here are expected to be more than $180 million.

Elsewhere in the world, severe thunderstorms in Brazil prompted the government there to allocate $255 million for recovery efforts. Hailstorms in China damaged more than 3,200 homes, with an economic loss of $26.2 million. In Norway, insurers are reporting a large number of claims filed from a storm system that brought high winds and heavy rains. Finally, in Asia floods hit Kazakhstan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and a tornado struck in Bangladesh.

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