Insured disaster event losses hit £65bn in 2020

The Swiss Re Institute has said insured losses from all 2020’s disaster events globally were £65bn, the fifth highest in more than 50 years. It said global insured losses from natural catastrophes were £59bn in 2020; man-made disasters resulted in £6bn insured losses. Secondary peril events accounted for more than 70% of the natural catastrophe insured losses.

Swiss Re said losses could have been higher had the storms in last year's very active North Atlantic hurricane season hit areas of higher population density.

It added: “We estimate that in a year of both a peak-loss inducing hurricane season and multiple secondary peril events, combined annual insured losses could be as high as £182bn -£218bn.”

Jérôme Haegeli, group chief economist at Swiss Re said: “Climate change is a systemic risk for the whole world. Unlike the COVID-19 crisis, it does not have an expiry date.”

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