Global economic losses due to natural disasters for the first half of 2018 have reached US$45 billion, or 64% lower than the 10-year average of US$124 billion, according to research by Impact Forecasting, Aon’s catastrophe model development team.
The Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2018 report also revealed that insured losses were estimated at US$21 billion, or 40% below the average of US$35 billion.
Natural disasters caused at least 2,153 deaths during the first half of 2018, the least since 1986, and significantly below the long-term (1980-2017) average of 36,570 and a median of the same period (7,991). Flooding was the deadliest peril of the first six months of 2018, causing at least 892 deaths.
The lower losses and number of deaths are despite an above-average number of natural disasters, with 156 in the first half. This is above the 18-year average of 142. While there was no ‘mega catastrophe’ that caused economic damage exceeding US$10 billion, there were at least 15 separate billion-dollar events from January to June 2018.
Asia-Pacific had the most disasters during that time period, with 55. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) was second with 44 events, followed by the United States (37), and the Americas (20).
“The first six months of 2018 featured several large-scale disasters with at least 15 individual billion-dollar economic loss events around the world,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist. “However, the resultant losses were largely manageable for the re/insurance industry. While first half losses were lower than average, it is imperative to reiterate that this does not automatically correlate to a quieter second half. As last year proved on multiple occasions, even one singular event can completely change the trajectory of a year from a humanitarian and financial cost perspective. Identifying and understanding your individual level of risk remains an important asset in helping to mitigate potential impacts given the prospect of future events.”