US$98bn in losses worldwide from natural hazards for first half of 2016

Global losses highest since 2011, but lower than average for the past ten years, says insurer catastrophe report

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development team of Aon Benfield, has launched its Global Catastrophe Recap for the first half of 2016 which reveals that global economic losses due to natural disasters totalled US$98bn, with insured losses reaching US$30bn.
The damages for the first 6 months of this year have been the highest since 2011, but still slightly lower than the ten-year average damages of US$112bn total and US$31bn insured. These are slightly above the averages dating back to 2000, with US$84bn total and US$24bn insured.
Thirty per cent of global economic losses were covered by public and private insurers, slightly over the 10-year average of 28% due to high amount of US losses, where insurance penetration is higher. The US accounted for 47% of insurance losses sustained by public and private insurance entities worldwide in the first half of 2016.
In terms of economic loss, earthquake was the costliest disaster included in the report with US$34bn, which is 30% of the total losses. This is attributable to two massive earthquakes in Japan’s Kumamoto region in April.
Meanwhile, in insurance losses, severe convective storm was the costliest disaster, with US$12.3bn, compromising 42% of total insured losses. Most losses were from major thunderstorm events in the US, bringing strong hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes.
Steve Bowen, director of Impact Forecasting, said: "The first half of 2016 ended up as the costliest on an economic and insured loss basis since 2011.

"he year has already been highlighted by a significant earthquake sequence in Japan, the Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada, flooding in Western Europe and a series of extensive hailstorms in the United States. With the pending transition to La Niña during the second half of the year, there will be a heightened focus on the risk of flooding across parts of Asia and hurricane landfall in the Atlantic Ocean basin. The financial toll of weather disasters during La Niña years has historically been among the costliest on record, and so we will wait to see whether this trend plays out in the coming months."

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