file5061340819905It’s been a rough winter. And not just in New England.

Aon Benfield’s monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report tallies the impact of February’s natural disaster events worldwide at $1 billion. Five storm periods in the Northeast contributed, as did the same or similar storms in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Plains, and Southeast regions. Record cold temperatures were also to blame for losses.

Nineteen storm-related deaths in Europe, avalanches in Asia that killed 286 people and destroyed 1,250 homes in Afghanistan, and cyclones in Australia drove storm totals higher. In Australia, storm claims from two cyclones spaced six hours apart resulted in 15,000 insurance claims. Losses there have reached $312 million (US). These were by no means the only events affecting the storm totals.

Steve Bowen, Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist, said: “Prolific winter weather highlighted a very active February for the eastern half of the United States. Boston was the epicenter for record snowfall that resulted from an onslaught of strong winter storm systems. Arctic cold, including multiple returns of the Polar Vortex, also contributed to residential and commercial losses that impacted dozens of states. As we begin to transition to the start of the severe weather season, it will be interesting to see if a cooler pattern lingers into the spring months. Should such a scenario occur, it is entirely possible that U.S. tornado totals could remain at historically low levels for a fourth consecutive year.”

To view the detailed report, visit the Aon Benfield site.

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