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U.S. economy takes $4bn hit from May severe weather

Staff Writer |
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield's catastrophe model development team, today launches the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during May 2017.

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Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc.

The report reveals that several major outbreaks of severe weather swept across central and eastern sections of the United States during the month, causing extensive damage through large hail, straight-line winds, tornadoes and isolated flash flooding.

The most prolific event occurred in the greater Denver, Colorado metro region, where damage from up to softball-sized hail led to insurance payouts of more than $1.4 billion in the state alone.

Significant damage from severe storms was also cited in parts of the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, and the Mid-Atlantic.

Total aggregated economic losses from US severe weather in May was set to exceed $4.0 billion, while public and private insurers faced a combined payout approaching $3.0 billion.

These totals were subject to change as further assessments were conducted.

Meanwhile, the combination of the arrival of the southwest monsoon and a developing tropical cyclone led to significant rainfall across Sri Lanka, killing at least 213 people, with another 77 people listed as missing and presumed dead. Nearly 150 others were injured.

Flooding and landslides affected 15 of the country's 25 districts and left more than 22,200 homes damaged or destroyed. Thousands of other structures (including hospitals, schools and religious facilities) were inundated.

Total economic losses were preliminarily estimated at $197 million.

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