North America has the biggest gap between catastrophe losses covered by insurance firms and those eligible for coverage, according to AIR Worldwide.
Its report, which analyses losses from disasters worldwide, found a $29.6bn gap between insured and "insurable" losses in this region.
The average amount of annual insured losses globally had been estimated at $74.4bn, while insurable losses - exposures eligible for insurance coverage regardless of whether they are actually insured - was worth $135.9bn, nearly twice as high as insured losses. The average amount of annual economic losses worldwide was $307.4bn.
Asia was identified as the region with the second biggest gap, with $25.9bn worth of uninsured losses eligible for coverage, followed by Europe and Latin America, with each having a $3bn gap. Oceania had the smallest gap of $100m.
Using AIR's exceedance probability curve, Bill Churney, CEO at AIR Worldwide, said the gap between covered and eligible exposures became "evident" and represented opportunities for the insurance industry to offer "essential protection to vulnerable home and business owners, in addition to avenues of potential business growth".
He said the gap was "very pronounced" in Asia while in the US a "significant portion" of earthquake and flood risk was not insured.
The report also identified severe storm as the biggest contribution to payouts, accounting for 31% of global insured losses, followed by tropical cyclone, which contributed to 30% of insured coverage.
However, earthquake represented the biggest contribution to potentially insurable losses (33%), followed by tropical cyclone (22%).