Published by Impact Forecasting, Aon’s catastrophe model development team, the report reveals that global natural disaster events during the first half of 2021 caused total economic losses estimated at US$93 billion – 32 per cent lower than the 10-year average ($136 billion). Meanwhile, insured losses were estimated at $42 billion – two per cent higher than the 10-year average ($41 billion). These totals are preliminary and will change as losses continue to develop.
Taking a longer-term perspective, insured losses were 39 per cent higher than the 21st century average ($30 billion) and 101 percent higher compared to the average since 1980 ($21 billion), while economic losses were 16 per cent lower ($110 billion) and nine percent higher ($85 billion) for the same periods respectively.
Insured losses notably above average
Insured losses resulting from natural catastrophes during the period were notably above average in the United States (+76 per cent) and EMEA (+32 per cent) compared to the 21st century 1H average. Conversely, losses were lower in APAC (-1 per cent) and in the Americas (-54 per cent).
Steve Bowen, Managing Director and Head of Catastrophe Insight on the Impact Forecasting team at Aon, said: “The first half of 2021 became the costliest first six months of the year in terms of natural disasters for the insurance industry since 2011, despite recording a below-average number of events. The most significant event was the prolonged February freeze in North America associated with the Polar Vortex that became the costliest winter weather-related event ever recorded.
“The juxtaposition of observed record heat and cold around the globe highlighted the humanitarian and structural stresses from temperature extremes. As climate change continues to amplify the severity of weather events, it becomes more imperative to explore ways to better manage the physical and non-physical risks that are more urgently requiring actionable solutions.”