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Global natural disaster losses reach $45bn during 1H 2018; insurance payouts estimated at $21bn

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    • Claims & Losses
    • Property - International
    • Property - North America
    • Property - UK

Cost of natural disasters nearly half of 18-year average for first half of the year...

Impact Forecasting has launched its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2018 report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year.


The report reveals that global economic losses from natural disasters for 1H 2018 were estimated at USD45 billion – 64 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD124 billion, and 48 percent lower than the 18-year average of USD87 billion. Meanwhile, insured losses were preliminarily estimated at USD21 billion – 40 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD35 billion, and 19 percent lower than the 18-year average of USD26 billion. These totals are subject to change as losses further develop.


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.


According to the report, there were an estimated 156 natural disaster events in 1H 2018, which was above the 18- 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).


Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting director and meteorologist, said: “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. ”


Insured losses resulting from natural catastrophes were generally lower than the average and median of the past 18 years. On a regional level, only EMEA and the Americas were each higher than their respective mean and median during that timeframe, with EMEA elevated due to an active European windstorm season, and the Americas largely due to winter storm and severe weather events in Canada. Both APAC and the United States saw lower insured losses, largely the result of a less active severe weather season in the United States and a quieter start to seasonal monsoon flooding across parts of Asia.


To view the full Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2018 report, please follow the link:


Along with the report, users can access current and historical natural catastrophe data and event analysis on Impact Forecasting’s Catastrophe Insight website, which is updated bi-monthly as new data become available:


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