Natural catastrophe events losses increase 8 percent in 2020
- Published: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 08:13
Aon plc has published its global Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2020 Annual Report. The report evaluates the impact of natural disaster events around the world to identify trends, manage volatility, and enhance resilience.
The report highlights that the 416 natural catastrophe events of 2020 resulted in economic losses of USD268 billion, which was 8 percent above the average annual losses for this century. The financial impacts continue to rise due to a changing climate, more people moving into hazard-prone areas, and an increase in global wealth. Of this total, private sector and government-sponsored insurance programs covered USD97 billion, creating a protection gap of 64 percent, which is the portion of economic losses not covered by insurance.
"The global response to the socioeconomic volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased focus on other systemic risks – particularly climate change – and is causing a fundamental reordering of business priorities. This report highlights the increasing likelihood of 'connected extremes' and reinforces that leading organizations of the future will be defined by their ability to manage the global implications of concurrent catastrophic events," said Greg Case, CEO of Aon. "In a highly volatile world, risk remains ever present, is more connected and, as a result, is also more severe – and 2020 has underscored this reality. It has also emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration between the public and private sectors, which will be essential to close the rising protection gap and build resilience against natural catastrophes."
Significant regional events during 2020 included:
- Costliest year on record for global severe convective storms led by historic US derecho;
- US mainland endured a record-breaking 12 named storm landfalls, including six hurricanes;
- Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines as the strongest landfalling storm ever recorded globally at 195 mph;
- Ciara became Europe's costliest windstorm since Xynthia in 2010;
- Drought conditions reduced agricultural crop yields in Brazil and Argentina, burning 30 percent of the Pantanal Region;
- The most widespread Yangtze River Basin floods since 1998 caused USD35 billion of economic damage in China's monsoon season.