Insured disaster losses average at $17bn in first-half 2018: Munich Re
Natural disaster losses around the globe paid for by the insurance and reinsurance industry during the first-half of 2018 came in at just $17 billion, which is down one-third from the prior year but aligned with the long-term average, according to global reinsurer Munich Re.
The $17 billion of insured natural catastrophe losses in H1 2018 is just slightly below the long-term 30 year average of $17.5 billion and 33% down on the $25.5 billion recorded in H1 2017.
Global economic losses from natural catastrophes for H1 2018 came in at $33 billion, which was less than half the long-term average of $68.3 billion and roughly half of H1 2017’s $65 billion economic loss tally.
Munich Re noted that there were “significantly lower losses than usual” during the first-half of 2018, as economic losses came out at the lowest level since 2005.
Torsten Jeworrek, a member of the Munich Re board, commented, “Following a period of extreme disasters with record losses, it is nice to be able to record a phase with low losses. Of course, looking at a short timespan may distort the true picture. The most important thing is to understand the long-term developments. That is why we must continue to make every effort to understand the background to natural disasters, and provide safeguards against them in the form of intelligent prevention measures. This is borne out by statistics on flooding losses in Europe, which have generally decreased thanks to investment in flood protection and control.”
The number of deaths recorded was also down, but still a high overall number with some 3,000 people losing their lives due to natural disasters and severe weather in the first-half of 2018. This is much lower than the 5,540 for the corresponding period of 2017.
There were outsized losses as well, particularly weather related losses to crops in the agricultural sector as a result of drought in Europe, as well as European windstorms and winter storms which drove higher insurance and reinsurance losses as well.
The most destructive natural catastrophe event of the period was European Storm Friederike, which struck the United Kingdom, northern France, the Benelux states and Germany in mid-January.
Munich Re estimates the economic loss from windstorm Friederike at $ 2.7 billion, with $2.1 billion of the total insured, which the reinsurance firm notes is reflective of the high insurance penetration of windstorm cover in Europe....MORE