First half of 2017 sees low level of natural disaster losses

Published: Thursday, 20 July 2017 13:47

Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield's catastrophe model development team, has published its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2017 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 the first half of 2017 were estimated at USD53 billion: 56 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD122 billion and 39 percent lower than the 17-year average of USD87 billion. Meanwhile, insured losses were preliminarily estimated at USD22 billion: 35 percent lower than the 10-year average of USD34 billion, and 12 percent lower than the 17-year average of USD25 billion.

According to the report, the severe convective storm (SCS) peril was the costliest disaster type on an economic basis (nearly USD26 billion) during the period under review, comprising 48 percent of the loss total, with the majority of the loss (USD23 billion) attributable to events in the United States. SCS also caused the majority of insurance losses (USD17+ billion), comprising 78 percent of the loss total and with nearly USD16 billion attributable to widespread hail, damaging straight-line winds, and tornadoes in the US.

Natural disasters claimed at least 2,782 lives during 1H 2017, the lowest figure since 1986 and significantly below the long-term (1980-2016) average of 40,867. Flooding was the deadliest peril during the period, being responsible for at least 1,806 deaths.

The report highlights that the US recorded 76 percent of the global losses sustained by public and private insurance entities during 1H 2017, while EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) each accounted for 10 percent. The Americas made up four percent of the global insured loss total.

Around 42 percent of the 1H 2017 global economic losses were covered by insurance, above both the near- and medium-term average of 32 percent and due to the fact that the majority of losses occurred in the US. However, insurance take-up rates continued to grow in other areas, notably Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Americas.

View the full Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2017 report.