Nat cat losses top US$100bn for third consecutive year – report

Insured losses from natural catastrophes in H1 2023 point to this year being the third consecutive year of weather-event claims topping US$100bn, with much of these coming from secondary perils such as floods, hail and wildfires – all of which are becoming more frequent as global temperatures rise.

This is amongst the findings of a new report from Bloomberg Intelligence, which also shows that insured losses from wildfires have doubled over the past 30 years.

Charles Graham, senior insurance analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, commented: “Munich Re puts total global insured costs of natural-catastrophe events in H1 at US$43 billion and SwissRe at US$50 billion, so it seems certain that 2023 claims for weather-related incidents will probably exceed US$100 billion for the third year in a row. The earthquake across Turkey and Syria was the most devastating episode - involving the loss of an estimated 58,000 lives - yet only about US$5 billion of the projected US$40 billion cost was insured.

“More than two-thirds of H1 insured losses from natural catastrophes were as a result of severe thunderstorms in the US which brought floods, hail and tornadoes. Climate change facilitates the formation of convective storms, since higher temperatures result in greater water evaporation and increased humidity at ground level. Record temperatures have also sparked numerous wildfires.”

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