Natural disasters resulted in around $39bn (£32bn) of insured losses during the first six months of this year, which is 18% higher than the 21st century average of $33bn.
That is according to a new report from Aon, which shows that there were 21 individual billion-dollar economic loss events registered between January and June, and at least nine additional billion-dollar insured events.
All of these were weather-related, apart from the Fukushima Earthquake in Japan, which resulted in a $8.5bn economic loss, of which $2.7bn was insured.
Severe convective storm (SCS) events in the US and Europe alone were responsible for 54% of the total insured losses during the period.
However, despite the rise in insured losses, the findings also show that natural disasters caused total economic losses of around $92bn, which is 24% lower than the 21st century average of $121bn.
“The continued effects of La Niña conditions, amplified by climate change’s influence on global weather patterns, not only increased volatility and intensified many events, but also dictated the location,” said Steve Bowen, managing director at Aon.
“While the re/insurance industry remains resilient in handling elevated loss costs, the focus now shifts to the upcoming peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which may bring new challenges during the second half of the year.”
There were 197 notable natural disaster events recorded by Aon during the first half of this year, which was above the 21st century average of 192, with seasonal flooding in China registering as the costliest economic loss event, totalling at least $8.7bn.
Despite a reduction from last year, insured losses in the US in the first six months of 2022 were close to the 21st century average, accounting for nearly half of the global insurance industry impact.
Insured losses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were 86% above the average, which was driven by a very costly wind storm season and relentless thunderstorm activity in May and June.
Meanwhile, SCS losses in Europe exceeded $5bn for the second year in a row, which is without precedent in the historical record.
“Natural catastrophes are a recurring phenomenon that can lead to significant disruption and damage while directly impacting human livelihoods,” Bowen continued.
“As these events occur within a complex world where outside factors can enhance the impacts of these events, the importance of addressing the underserved and helping others in their time of need with better information and insights will only grow in the future.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings