Hundreds of billions
Natural catastrophes are costing insurers more and more
According to the reinsurer Munich Re, increasingly violent storms mean that natural catastrophe losses on earth can be expected to increase in the coming years. Insurers are facing hundreds of billions.
Hurricane Ian devastated the east coast of the United States. (archive image)
Last year, floods, storms, forest fires and other natural disasters caused economic damage of 270 billion dollars worldwide.
According to the company’s analysis, that was less than in the particularly expensive year 2021 (320 billion), but was part of the “loss-intensive” past five years, as Munich Re announced on Tuesday. The most expensive catastrophe was hurricane “Ian”, which hit the US east coast at the end of September 2022, at $100 billion.
Natural catastrophes are also becoming increasingly expensive for insurance companies: around 120 billion of the 270 billion total losses were insured. “We have something like a new normal with 100 billion annual claims for the insurance industry,” said Ernst Rauch, head of geo research at Munich Re. “We have exceeded this limit five times in the recent past. In the future we will reach or exceed the hundred billion more and more frequently.”
Munich Re has been documenting global losses from natural disasters for decades, as the data is also important for calculating insurance premiums.