Deadly Tornadoes, Floods Fuel $4 Billion of December U.S. Losses

Damaged vehicles and apartments buildings are seen in Garland, Texas on Dec. 28, 2015, after tornadoes hit the area.

Damaged vehicles and apartments buildings are seen in Garland, Texas on Dec. 28, 2015, after tornadoes hit the area.

  • Insurers expected to incur half of total disaster costs
  • Storms in the U.K. contributed to another $4 billion in losses

Violent storms that struck the U.S. in December will cost more than $4 billion in damages, about half of which will probably be covered by insurers, according to estimates by Aon Plc.

The disasters at the end of the month killed at least 64 people and resulted in more than 50 tornado touch-downs along with historic levels of flooding in the Mississippi Valley and the Midwest, the insurance broker said Wednesday in a report.

“Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Indiana were among the hardest-hit,” London-based Aon said in a statement. “The Insurance Council of Texas reported losses of $1.2 billion in the Dallas metropolitan area alone.”

The U.S. is vulnerable to costly claims because of extreme weather patterns and high property values. The country, which has the world’s largest economy, accounted for 60 percent of global insured losses in 2015, according to Aon.

The U.K., Ireland and Norway also experienced severe flooding in December as windstorms Eckard and Ted, also known as Frank and Desmond, struck thousands of homes. Those catastrophes contributed to about $4 billion of economic losses in Europe, according to Aon.

Parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil were hit by flooding that was the worst in at least 50 years in some areas, killing at least 16 people and causing more than $200 million in losses, according to Aon’s estimates.

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