April’s Killer Tornadoes Cost Insurers Billions in Claims: Aon Report

Extensive severe weather events in the United States during April cost insurers billions of dollars, according to the latest edition of Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap report.

There were 14 killer tornadoes in the U.S. in April – the fifth-most in any month on record since 1950, said the Aon report, which each month evaluates the impact of natural catastrophes across the globe. Approximately 50 people were killed across the U.S. in April, as a result of these storms.

The first major outbreak of the month, from April 6-9, was marked by a complex outbreak that generated more than 30 tornadoes, hailstones larger than the size of baseballs and straight-line winds topping 70 mph (110 kph). That event alone caused economic losses of nearly US$2.0 billion, with roughly three-quarters of this cost being insured. A prolific tornado outbreak on April 12-13 was another billion-dollar event which was marked by 138 tornado touchdowns, including 15 rated EF3 (12) or EF4 (3), added the report.

“The highest frequency of billion-dollar disasters for the global insurance industry in the last decade has been severe convective storms (SCS), accounting for more than 40 percent of such events,” said Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team…


Experts Knew a Pandemic Was Coming. Here’s What They’re Worried About Next

pandemic map
Illustrations by Son of Alan

You might feel blindsided by the coronavirus, but warnings about a looming pandemic have been there for decades. Government briefings, science journals and even popular fiction projected the spread of a novel virus and the economic impacts it would bring, complete often with details about the specific challenges the U.S. is now facing.

It makes you wonder: What else are we missing? What other catastrophes are coming that we aren’t planning for, but that could disrupt our lives, homes, jobs or our broader society in the next few years or decades? It’s the government’s job to think about this: Every year, the intelligence community releases the Worldwide Threat Assessment—a distillation of worrisome global trends, risks, problem spots and emerging perils. But this year, the public hearing on the assessment, usually held in January or February, was canceled, evidently because intelligence leaders, who usually testify in a rare open hearing together, were worried their comments would aggravate President Donald Trump. And the government has not yet publicly released a 2020 threat report…


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