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Insured losses in March storms estimated at $2 billion: Aon Benfield


March came in like a lion as U.S. storm and flood damage resulted in an estimated $2 billion in insured losses, with half of the total in Texas, Aon Benfield said Wednesday.

Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting Global Catastrophe Recap report said seven severe convective storms hit nearly every part of the country last month with more than 1,000 reports of tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds and hail.

Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary of Aon P.L.C., said Texas was among the hardest-hit states. Hail larger the golf balls hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area in March, resulting in more than 125,000 home and auto claims and insured losses that the Insurance Council of Texas estimated at more than $1 billion.

Overall economic losses from the U.S. storms neared $3.5 billion. In comparing March this year with March 2014, last year had a much quieter start of the storm season, Aon Benfield said.

The storms hit Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas the hardest and killed at least six people.

Elsewhere, Aon Benfield said:

• The most severe thunderstorm in at least a decade hit the United Arab Emirates and Oman, resulting in insured losses of at least $140 million;

• Windstorm Jeanne, also known as Katie, caused hurricane-force winds and flooding in Northern Europe, resulting in $100 million in insured and economic losses and killing at least one person.

• A winter storm pounded portions of Ontario and Quebec, with insured losses expected to be in the “tens of millions” of dollars, Aon Benfield said.

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