January winter storms caused $4bn in economic damage worldwide, although Storm Gertrude inflicted comparatively few problems

 
Hayley Kirton
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Huge Snow Storm Slams Into Mid Atlantic States
Storms on the east coast of the US have potentially caused $2bn in damage (Source: Getty)

Winter weather caused $4bn (£2.8bn) in economic damages across the world this January.

According to a report which released yesterday by Aon, the winter snow storms that battered the east coast of the United States in the latter half of January, killing 58 people and causing states of emergency to be declared in 11 states, caused at least $2bn in economic losses by tentative estimates.

Meanwhile, cold weather and snowfall in East Asia, which left at least 116 dead and many stranded when travel was interrupted, caused just shy of $2bn in economic losses, with China bearing the brunt of that amount.

By comparison, Europe fared relatively mildly during the first month of 2016. Although Storm Gertrude definitely made her presence felt, particularly for those living in Scotland, the total economic damage caused is expected to exceed the $100m mark.

Read more: Zurich predicts storm losses of $275m

"Winter in the Northern Hemisphere was on full display to begin 2016, with several winter storm events impacting parts of the United States, Asia and Europe," said Adam Podlaha, head of impact forecasting at Aon. "Despite winter weather historically not being one of the costliest perils when compared to tropical cyclones or flooding, these winter events can still pose billion-dollar costs to the global economy.

"The peril continues to be of interest to the insurance industry as claims resulting from heavy snow or ice often quickly accumulate."

Read more: Last year was sixth wettest in more than a century

This winter has not been kind to the insurance industry. Last month, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) predicted that Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, which badly affected northern regions of the UK in December, would set insurers back £1.3bn in claim payouts.

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