China June Disaster Costs Hit $350 Billion While U.S. Tallies Wildfire Losses: Aon

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

A series of monsoons, earthquakes and floods have caused at least $350 billion in economic losses for China last month while the cost of wildfires that swept through the U.S. Southwest in June have yet to be realized, according to a report issued Tuesday by Aon Benfield.

The heaviest loss for China came in the form of storm — followed by floods and landslides — that occurred between June 20th and June 29th in the provinces of Guizhou, Hubei and Jiangxi. The event destroyed or damaged 123,000 homes and 2.05 million acres of cropland,causing economic losses of $2.73 billion, the Aon report said, citing numbers from China’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The storms also left at least 50 people dead in 17 separate provinces.

The second largest natural disaster to hit China last month was a magnitude-5.5 earthquake in the Sichuan-Yunnan border region on June 24, causing over $300 million in damage and destroying 88,000 homes, the report states. At least four people were killed and 152 others injured in that event.

Insured losses from U.S. severe storms and wildfires continued to mount in June, although the final bill from the active month has yet to be realized.

“The United States endured a highly active month, with multiple natural disaster perils occurring from coast to coast,” the Aon report states, adding that the most costly event severe thunderstorms and hail that that hit portions of Texas and New Mexico.

Losses from that even remain unclear, with the Insurance Council of Texas estimating insured losses in could exceed $1 billion while an earlier estimate from the Southwestern Insurance Information Service placed losses between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

The wildcard for U.S. insurers remains losses from June’s Waldo Canyon Fire, a wildfire near Colorado Springs region became “the most damaging blaze in state history, Aon Benfield states, adding the initial estimates say the fire destroyed 347 homes with a combined housing market value of $110.2 million and damaging an additional 50. The subsequent High Park Fire outside of Fort Collins destroyed 259 homes.

“As further assessments are made, and claims are filed, the total overall losses are expected to be much higher,” the report added.

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