Natural disaster H1 insured losses hit a 10-year high of $42 billion

Floods in Europe since last week have likely caused $2-3 billion in reinsurance losses, analysts say. read more Natural disasters were responsible for around 3,000 deaths globally in the first half, with 800 fatalities from the heatwave which hit parts of Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest in late June.


LONDON:

Insured losses from natural disasters hit a 10-year high of $42 billion in the first half of 2021, with the biggest loss related to extreme cold in the United States in February, insurance broker Aon said on Wednesday.

Overall economic losses came in below their 10-year average, however, at $93 billion, Aon said in a report.

There was a minimum of 163 natural disaster events that occurred in 1H 2021, which was below the 21st Century average (191) and median (197).

Disasters which hit developed countries typically lead to greater insured losses.

Seventy-two percent of global insured losses occurred in the United States in the first half, Aon said.

The Polar Vortex-induced period of extreme cold there led to an insured loss of at least $15 billion.

Major storms in western and central Europe in June caused at least $4.5 billion in insured losses, Aon said.

Floods in Europe since last week have likely caused $2-3 billion in reinsurance losses, analysts say. read more

Natural disasters were responsible for around 3,000 deaths globally in the first half, with 800 fatalities from the heatwave which hit parts of Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest in late June.

"The juxtaposition of observed record heat and cold around the globe highlighted the humanitarian and structural stresses from temperature extremes," said Steve Bowen, managing director and head of catastrophe insight on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon.

Bowen added that as a result of climate change, "it becomes more imperative to explore ways to better manage the physical and non-physical risks that are more urgently requiring actionable solutions".

British insurer Aviva  called on Wednesday for urgent action from policymakers, developers and insurers to protect homes and businesses from the impact of climate change, saying most were ill-prepared to handle extreme weather. 

Fatalities tied to temperature extremes were the deadliest type of disaster during the first six months of 2021, being responsible for nearly one third of the toll. More than 800 fatalities alone were directly linked to a historic heatwave which affected parts of Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest in late-June.

Overall, the Asia-Pacific region recorded slightly less than half of the global death toll (1,400+)

Costliest Events
There were at least 22 separate billion-dollar events in 1H 2020. All but one of the events were weather-related, with the exception being the February 13 earthquake near the coast of Japan. The billion-dollar events were led by the U.S. (10) and APAC (6), followed by EMEA (4), and the Americas (2).

Insured losses resulting from natural catastrophes were notably above average in the United States (+76 percent) and EMEA (+32 percent) compared to the 21st Century 1H average. The higher than average industry payouts in the U.S. were tied to the record winter storm losses, plus another high-cost six months for severe convective storms. 

Conversely, losses were near normal in APAC (-1 percent), but a much lower -54 percent in the Americas (Non-U.S.). 


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