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September ‘worst month’ for natural disasters

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Last month was the costliest for natural disasters, thanks to Hurricane Dorian and Typhoon Faxai, says Aon’s latest Global Catastrophe Recap report.

Hurricane Dorian made landfalls in the Bahamas, US, and Canada, with 297kmh winds making it the joint strongest Atlantic landfalling hurricane on record.

Total economic and insured losses in the Bahamas alone are expected to reach well into the billions of dollars, and it is likely to become the country’s most expensive disaster on record.

Further economic damage in the US and Canada is poised to hit a combined $US1.5 billion ($2.21 billion).

Typhoon Faxai made landfall in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture and later affected many populated areas, including Tokyo.

The storm damaged at least 40,000 homes, with the General Insurance Association of Japan reporting 185,000 claims. Total insured losses are expected to approach $US5 billion ($7.36 billion), with overall economic costs even higher.

“September is typically one of the most active from a meteorological perspective as it represents the historical peak of tropical cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere,”

said Steve Bowen, Director and Meteorologist within Aon’s Impact Forecasting team.

“Unsurprisingly, this also translates into being one of the costlier months for the insurance industry. The events of 2019 will mark, thus far, the most expensive month for disasters.”

Mr Bowen says despite September’s losses, this year is still quieter overall compared with the previous two years.