Natural disasters cost the world economy $73bn in H1 2019: Aon


Natural disasters caused global economic losses worth $73 billion in the first six months of 2019, according to an Aon catastrophe report, titled Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2019.

The report revealed that catastrophe losses in the first half of the year were 22 percent lower than the average between 2000 and 2018 of $94 billion. Insured losses were preliminarily estimated at $20 billion, or 26 percent lower than the 18-year average of $27 billion.

These totals are subject to change as losses further develop.

Natural disasters claimed at least 3,800 lives during the first half of 2019, significantly below the average in Aon’s 18 year period of 37,400. Tropical cyclones and flooding were the deadliest perils of the period, having been responsible for at least 1,500 and 1,425 deaths, respectively.

According to the report, there were an estimated 163 natural disaster events in 1H 2019, compared to the average of 180 over the 18 year period. There were at least 17 separate billion-dollar economic events in the first half of the year, with six of them each in the US and Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa having four and the Americas having only one.

It was not an abnormally costly start to the year for the insurance industry or federal governments around the world, noted Steve Bowen, head of catastrophe insight at Aon, but it was impactful from a humanitarian perspective. 

Bowen said: “The events of this year already highlight the need to enhance mitigation and resilience measures by modernising infrastructure, minimising the protection gap and incorporating a combination of public and private market solutions. This will be even more important as we face more impactful small and large-scale weather and climate-enhanced events in the future.”

Natural disasters, Aon, Steve Bowen

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