Global natural disaster losses hit USD 45 billion in H1 2018

Global insurance and reinsurance broker AON reported that natural disaster losses in the first-half of 2018 totalled USD 45 billion, of which only USD 21 billion covered by re/insurance.

The report comes from IMPACT FORECASTING, the catastrophe model development team of AON's Reinsurance Solutions business, and evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year.

According to the report, at USD 45 billion, H1 2018 economic losses from natural disasters are 64% lower than the 10-year average of USD 124 billion, and 48% lower than the 18-year average of USD 87 billion. Meanwhile, insured losses were preliminarily estimated at USD 21 billion - 40% lower than the 10-year average of USD 35 billion, and 19% lower than the 18-year average of USD 26 billion.

Natural disasters claimed at least 2,153 lives 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 two quarters of 2018, having been responsible for at least 892 deaths.

AON mentioned that there were an estimated 156 natural disaster events in 1H 2018, which was above the 18-year average of 142. While there was no 'mega catastrophe' that led to economic damage beyond USD10 billion, there were at least 15 separate billion-dollar events in 1H 2018 - all of which were weather-related, except one earthquake event - led by the U.S. (6), EMEA (4), APAC (4), and the Americas (1).

The first six months were marked by many smaller-scale disasters, with Asia-Pacific (APAC) recording the most disasters in the first six months of the year (55). Europe, Middle East & 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. 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", said Steve BOWEN, IMPACT FORECASTING Director and Meteorologist.

Click here to view the full Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2018 report.

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