Harvey, Irma, Maria and now earthquakes… What’s next

With $344bn global economic loss, 2017 has been the costliest year on record for weather disasters. Although the insurance industry is in the position to handle a high volume of claims payouts and to explore future growth to build resilience in underinsured regions, all natural disasters amounted to $353bn.

Last month, Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, launched its Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2017 Annual Report, evaluating the impact of the natural disaster events that took place in 2017. The report revealed that 330 natural catastrophes occurred in the previous year, generating losses of $353bn, of which 97% were weather-related.

Due to the very active hurricane season, severe weather events and wildfires, insured losses to the private sector and government-sponsored programmes reached $134bn, 139% higher than 2016’s $56bn. Indeed, the hurricanes and typhoons led to 2017’s natural losses being 93% higher than the 2000-2016 average.

As such, the cost of disasters in 2017 is a reminder that increased levels of risk are faced due to more exposures and people being located in vulnerable areas to naturally occurring events.

Read the full report here.