Revealed: Loss figures from H1 2020 natural disasters

Total number of events worldwide exceeds 200

Revealed: Loss figures from H1 2020 natural disasters

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Broking behemoth Aon Plc has released its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2020 report, and the 13-page document contains some eye-catching figures. 

First off, Aon’s catastrophe model development team Impact Forecasting recorded at least 207 natural disaster events worldwide in the period. The number, according to the Aon report, is higher than the 21st century average of 185 and the 189 median.

These catastrophes were estimated to have caused total economic losses of approximately US$75 billion and insured losses of US$30 billion. It was, however, stressed that the reported totals are preliminary and will change as losses continue to develop.

“The first half of 2020 was challenging on a number of fronts given the ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a series of impactful weather and climate-related events around the world,” noted Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business.

“Much of the natural disaster impact came via the severe convective storm peril. A record 10 individual thunderstorm-related events had more than US$1 billion in economic losses in the United States alone during the first six months of the year; while Australia and Canada each dealt with severe hailstorms that prompted billion-dollar damage bills.”

Bowen also cited notable events such as tropical cyclone Amphan in India and Bangladesh, wildfires in Australia, windstorms in Europe, and what was described as “record-setting” heat in the Arctic Circle.

Aon said Amphan, which resulted in an estimated US$15 billion in direct damage loss, was the costliest economic event in the first half, while the April 10-14 severe weather event in the US was the costliest insured event with around US$2.7 billion in total claims.

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