Natural disasters claimed fewest deaths in 30 years

20 July 2017 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
Global insured losses from natural disasters during 1H 2017 are estimated at US 22 billion with 76% of these sustained by public and private US insurers, according to "Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2017 report" launched by Impact Forecasting, AON Benfield's catastrophe model development team.

The report reveals that global economic losses from natural disasters for 1H 2017 were estimated at USD 53 billion - 56% lower than the 10-year average of USD 122 billion and 39% lower than the 17-year average of USD 87 billion.

Meanwhile, insured losses were preliminarily estimated at USD 22 billion - 35% lower than the 10-year average of USD 34 billion, and 12% lower than the 17-year average of USD 25 billion.

According to the report, the severe convective storm (SCS) peril was the costliest disaster type on an economic basis (nearly USD 26 billion) during the period under review, comprising 48% of the loss total, with the majority of the loss (USD 23 billion) attributable to events in the United States.

SCS also caused the majority of insurance losses (USD17+ billion), comprising 78% of the loss total and with nearly USD 16 billion attributable to widespread hail, damaging straight-line winds, and tornadoes in the U.S.

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 U.S. recorded 76% 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%. The Americas made up 4% of the global insured loss total.

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

Click here to view the full "Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2017 report".

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