Insured losses from catastrophes and severe weather total $54 billion worldwide so far in 2020, with losses from first-half still developing, according to Aon. That prolonged loss development is occurring "as the COVID-19 environment has forced a change in how damage assessments are conducted and the speed by which claims are approved/paid," Aon said.
Insured losses from wildfires in the Western US likely have totaled $5 billion to $8 billion at this point, with California fires accounting for $4.8 billion of that amount, according to Moody's Investors Service. The losses could result in 2020 being the third-worst year on record for US fire damage, Moody's said.
A report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says climate change could have seriously adverse effects on the US economy, with insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and financial institutions all suffering. The report cites the increasing severity of wildfires and other natural disasters as a major concern, and it calls for insurance and other financial regulators to act to mitigate climate risks.
Slow-moving Tropical Storm Beta made landfall in Texas on Monday night and has dropped 6 to 10 inches of rain in parts of the Houston area, leading to flash flooding and water rescues from stranded vehicles. The storm could bring 10 additional inches of rain to eastern Texas and as much as 6 inches of rain to parts of Louisiana.
California, Oregon and Washington state are facing major challenges in obtaining sufficient firefighting resources during an extreme wildfire season, and they are seeking assistance from at least nine other states as well as other countries, such as Canada and Israel. Drought, wind and other factors in California mean that crews "can't contain one [wildfire] before another erupts," said Justin Silvera, a battalion chief with Cal Fire.
Some Utah residents and business owners are facing challenges in rebuilding after March's magnitude 5.7 earthquake, the state's most powerful in decades. Hurdles include the coronavirus pandemic, uncertainty over the cost of damage, and the financial impact on public infrastructure, state and local officials say.
When sports, like other businesses, shuttered this year in an effort to control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), their absence was one more sign of the enormity of the crisis confronting us. Now, sports around the world are coming back, but their return has not been easy. Learn more.
Helping clients navigate increasing complexity: Aon and Willis Towers Watson
Greg Case, CEO of Aon, on the heels of the recently overwhelming shareholder vote of approval, discusses how the combination of Aon with Willis Towers Watson is a once-in-a-generation combination that establishes the combined Aon as the firm to help clients navigate today's challenges and together tackle some of the greatest issues facing society. Find out more.
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