Floods and storms drive global insured catastrophe losses
Man-made events triggered an additional USD 3 billion in insured losses.
Floods and storms drive global insured catastrophe losses of USD 38 billion in first half of 2022, Swiss Re Institute estimates
A series of winter storms in Europe, unprecedented flooding in Australia and South Africa as well as a high number of thunderstorms in the US and Europe resulted in USD 35 billion of insured losses from natural catastrophes in the first half of 2022, according to Swiss Re Institute’s preliminary estimates.
Man-made events triggered an additional USD 3 billion in insured losses, bringing total catastrophe insured losses to USD 38 billion. The record-high temperatures in many parts of Europe may lead to further losses caused by droughts and wildfires.
The severe weather events of the past six months once again highlight that natural catastrophes, particularly secondary perils, are increasing in frequency and severity in all regions.
In February, a series of winter storms hit Europe and prompted estimated insured losses of USD 3.5 billion, bringing this key peril back on the insurance industry's agenda. In February and March, torrential rains led to widespread flooding in Australia. It set a new record for flood losses in the country at so far close to USD 3.5 billion. For the insurance industry, this is one of the costliest natural catastrophes ever in the country and the costliest event globally in the first half of 2022, in terms of insured losses. Floods in South Africa as well as in India, China and Bangladesh further confirm the growing loss potential from floods in urbanized areas globally.
In the first half of 2022, severe weather including hailstorms and heavy rain hit France, so far causing an estimated EUR 4 billion of insured market losses, based on data from the French Federation of Insurance Companies.
Two severe summer heatwaves resulting in record-high temperatures across Europe have sparked destructive forest fires across southwest Europe. The global average temperature for June 2022 was about 0.3°C higher than the 1991-2020 average, making it the third warmest June on record.
As warming climate is predicted to exacerbate droughts, the likelihood of wildfires increases, causing greater damage where rapid urban sprawl overlaps the wildland-urban interface.
Global economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophe events are estimated at USD 75 billion in the first half of 2022. This is below the average of the past ten years (USD 80 billion).