Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development team of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, today launched its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2019 report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year.


The report reveals that global economic losses from natural disasters for 1H 2019 were estimated at USD73bn – 22 percent lower than the 2000-2018 average of USD94bn. Meanwhile, insured losses were preliminarily estimated at USD20 billion – 26 percent lower than the 18-year average of USD27 billion. These totals are subject to change as losses further develop.


Natural disasters claimed at least 3,800 lives during the first half of 2019, significantly below the long-term (1980-2018) average of 37,400 and a median of the same period (8,500). Tropical cyclones and flooding were the deadliest perils of the first two quarters of 2019, having been responsible for at least 1,500 and 1,425 deaths respectively.


According to the report, there were an estimated 163 natural disaster events in 1H 2019, which was below the 18- average of 180 and the median of 182. There were at least 17 separate billion-dollar economic events in 1H 2019 – led by the United States and Asia Pacific (APAC) with six events each; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with four events, and the Americas with one event.


The first six months were marked by many smaller- and medium-scale disasters, with EMEA recording 50 events, followed by APAC (45), the U.S. (37) and the Americas (20).


Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, said: “While the first half of 2019 was not an abnormally costly start to the year for the insurance industry or federal governments around the world, it was notably impactful from a humanitarian perspective. Numerous record-breaking weather events – including tropical cyclones, precipitation, and extreme temperatures – highlighted the continued vulnerabilities faced by populations in developing, emerging, and developed countries. The events of this year already highlight the need to enhance mitigation and resilience measures by modernizing infrastructure, minimizing the protection gap, and incorporating a combination of public and private market solutions. This will be even more important as we face more impactful small and large-scale weather and climate-enhanced events in the future.”