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CHICAGO, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), today releases the latest edition of its Global Catastrophe Recap report, which reviews the natural disaster perils that occurred worldwide during May.

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Published by Impact Forecasting, the firm's catastrophe model development center of excellence, the report reveals that two earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks struck northern Italy within a nine-day period, killing 25 people, injuring more than 400 others and causing extensive damage to the cultural heritage throughout the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, in addition to businesses and personal property.

An initial, combined economic loss estimate from both tremors stood at EUR5 billion (USD6.25 billion), following significant damage in the provinces of Modena, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia, Rovigo and Mantua.

In Asia, severe and prolonged periods of rain impacted China throughout the month, affecting at least 22 provinces and killing at least 102 people.

According to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), at least 143,000 homes were damaged or destroyed during one prolonged event. More than 949,400 hectares (2.34 million acres) of cropland were also affected, contributing to a total economic loss listed at CNY16.88 billion (USD2.68 billion).

Meanwhile, powerful thunderstorms struck eastern Japan, resulting in high winds and tornadoes that killed at least three people, injured 59 others, and damaged more than 1,845 buildings in six separate prefectures.

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: "The Italian earthquakes resulted in the largest natural disaster loss for the country since the L'Aquila earthquake event in 2009. The seismic activity was not unexpected, as Italy has long been recognised as a region exposed to the possibility of significant earthquake activity. Given the level of insurance coverage in the region, it is anticipated that insured losses would reach minimally into the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD). However, it remains too early to determine how negligible re/insurance losses may be from this event."

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In the United States, two periods of severe weather impacted central and eastern sections of the country; the first causing widespread hail and wind damage from the Dakotas to Maryland, resulting in an economic loss estimated at USD275 million, and more than 30,000 insurance claims valued at USD150 million. A secondary severe weather outbreak across the central and eastern U.S. at the end of the month spawned significant damage as well. According to a preliminary report from the South-western Insurance Information Service, insured losses in Oklahoma alone were estimated at USD400 million.

Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, Florida at peak intensity with 70 mph (110 kph) winds but did not cause any significant damage, injuries or fatalities.

And wildfires burned in several U.S. states during the month, including the largest fire ever recorded in New Mexico.

Excessive rainfall affected areas of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec in May. In Thunder Bay, at least 1,100 homes were damaged as well as businesses and infrastructure, and flood damage with a 100-year return period was recorded in Montreal, where personal property and infrastructure were widely affected.

Additional flood events were recorded in Nepal, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Georgia, Brazil and Venezuela.

To view the full May Global Catastrophe Recap report, please visit the link below:

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About Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield, a division of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), is the world's leading reinsurance intermediary and full-service capital advisor. We empower our clients to better understand, manage and transfer risk through innovative solutions and personalized access to all forms of global reinsurance capital across treaty, facultative and capital markets. As a trusted advocate, we deliver local reach to the world's markets, an unparalleled investment in innovative analytics, including catastrophe management, actuarial and rating agency advisory. Through our professionals' expertise and experience, we advise clients in making optimal capital choices that will empower results and improve operational effectiveness for their business. With more than 80 offices in 50 countries, our worldwide client base has access to the broadest portfolio of integrated capital solutions and services. To learn how Aon Benfield helps empower results, please visit

About Impact Forecasting® LLC

Impact Forecasting is a catastrophe modeling center of excellence whose seismologists, meteorologists, engineers, mathematicians, finance risk management and insurance professionals analyze the financial implications of natural and man-made catastrophes around the world.Impact Forecasting's experts develop software tools and models that help clients understand risks from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires and terrorist attacks on property, casualty and crop insurers and reinsurers. To find out more about Impact Forecasting® LLC, visit

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing. Through its more than 60,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to deliver distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally in over 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary 2007-2010, best reinsurance intermediary 2006-2010, best captives manager 2009-2010, and best employee benefits consulting firm 2007-2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

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David Bogg

Andrew Wragg

Alexandra Lewis

Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield

Aon Benfield

t: +44 (0)20 7522 4016

t: +44 (0)20 7522 8183

t: +44 (0)20 7882 0541

e:[email protected]

e:[email protected]

e:[email protected]

SOURCE Aon plc

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