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May saw $7 billion in global insured losses

May saw $7 billion in global insured losses

Disasters across the world caused at least $7 billion in insured damage in May, according to a report issued Wednesday by Aon Benfield Group Ltd.'s Impact Forecasting unit.

A single event — the Horse Creek Fire in the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta — caused estimated insured losses, including physical damage and business interruption, in excess of 4 billion Canadian dollars ($3.09 billion), according to Impact Forecasting's “Global Catastrophe Recap: May 2016” report. The fire will be the costliest disaster in Canadian history, according to the report.

In addition, the report said that much of northern Europe sustained losses from a storm dubbed Elvira that struck between late May and early June, with the most significant damage in Germany, France, Austria, Poland and Belgium. The report noted that insurance industry associations in France and Germany preliminarily estimated combined minimum claims payouts to exceed €2.0 billion ($2.27 billion).

The report also noted that a series of storms struck the United States in May, affecting much of the nation's midsection. Total aggregated insured losses were estimated to exceed $1.0 billion.

Severe weather also caused considerable economic damage to parts of Asia and Africa, although insured losses are believed to be relatively low because of the low penetration of insurance in the affected areas.

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