AON: Global NatCat insured losses exceeded USD 130 billion in 2022

30 January 2023 — Andrei Victor
During 2022, natural disasters caused a USD 313 billion global economic loss - 4% above the 21st-century average, of which USD 132 billion was covered by insurance, or 42% of total, according to the 2023 Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight report, published by the global re/insurance broker AON.

"While a majority of total losses in 2022 were left uninsured, the 58 percent "protection gap" was one of the lowest on record, highlighting a positive shift in how businesses are navigating volatility through risk mitigation, and how insurers are providing further protection to underserved communities through access to capital", as AON representatives pointed out in a statement.

Data show that 2022 was the fifth costliest year on record for insurers, with approximately USD 50-55 billion of the global insured loss total resulting from Hurricane Ian in the United States - the second-costliest natural catastrophe in history from an insurance perspective, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which resulted in nearly USD 100 billion in insured losses on a price-inflated basis.

The report also highlights that approximately 31,300 people lost their lives due to global natural catastrophe events in 2022. The total number of fatalities remains below average for now 12 years in a row; however, more than 19,000 of the fatalities were heat-related deaths in Europe alone, primarily as a result of heatwaves.

The top 10 global economic loss events in 2022 were:

Further findings of the 2023 Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight report include:

  • 421 notable natural disaster events were recorded in 2022, higher than the 21st century average of 396.
  • 75 percent of global insured losses were recorded in the United States, which was higher than the average of 60 percent.
  • Windstorm Eunice was the costliest individual European windstorm since 2010, with USD 3.4 billion in insured losses. Widespread hailstorms in France contributed to the second-highest natural disaster payouts for the country on record of EUR 6.9 billion (USD 7.4 billion).
  • Droughts and heatwaves severely impacted Europe, the United States, China and other regions and global insurance payouts for the drought peril were the second highest on record, at USD 12.6 billion globally.
  • Flood losses in Australia broke the historical record as La Nina conditions persisted for a third year and Sydney recorded the highest annual rainfall.
  • Monsoonal floods in Pakistan had a far-reaching humanitarian impact on the country. In a summary of the 2022 monsoon season, the Pakistan Meteorological Department noted that country-wide rainfall from July to September was 175% above average.
  • Both severe drought conditions and a prolonged rainy season in different regions of Latin America reduced agricultural crop yield across the region.
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