Global economic losses from natural catastrophes last year amounted to US$313bn – and less than half of it was insured.
Aon’s Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight 2023 report reveals that natural disaster losses covered by the global insurance industry in 2022 amounted to US$132bn, making it the fifth costliest year on record, in this respect, for insurers. The amount therefore not covered by insurance, US$181bn, accounted for 58% of the total.
However, Aon says this protection gap was one of the lowest on record, despite the occurrence of at least 421 individual events, including floods and hurricanes; the average since the turn of the century has been 396. The lower protection gap is because many of the most expensive catastrophes occurred in the US and Europe, which have mature insurance markets, while less protected regions experienced fewer disasters.
The analysis attributes 75% of global insured losses to Hurricane Ian. The hurricane devastated parts of Florida in September, with insured damages of up to US$55bn and total economic losses estimated at US$95bn.
More than 31,000 people died due to natural disasters last year, with around two-thirds of the deaths linked to severe heatwaves in Europe.