U.S. Tornadoes, Storms in February May Cost More Than $1 Billion

  • Insured damage to be hundreds of millions of dollars, Aon says
  • Cyclone in Fiji could cost $470 million, or 10% of GDP

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Losses from severe storms and tornadoes that struck much of the U.S. in February could amount to more than $1 billion, including hundreds of millions of dollars of damages that will probably be covered by insurers, Aon Plc said.

The U.S. suffered the most February tornadoes since 2008, with storms hitting the Plains, Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, the London-based insurance broker said Tuesday in a report. Heavy snow, ice and hail also caused wreckage across the country.

Tropical Cyclone Winston, which hit Fiji with 185 mile-per-hour winds, damaged more than 24,000 homes and killed at least 44 people. The disaster is expected to cost FJD1 billion ($470 million), or about 10 percent of Fiji’s gross domestic product, Aon said. Insurers expect to be responsible for about $47 million of those losses. Windstorms in Europe, droughts across Africa and Asia, and earthquakes in Taiwan, New Zealand and Oklahoma added to the toll in February, Aon said.

“Despite starting to show signs of weakening in the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, the record-tying El Nino left its fingerprint on many global natural-disaster events in February,” Steve Bowen, associate director and meteorologist at Aon’s Impact Forecasting, said in the statement.

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