NEW YORK – It's been a very costly year worldwide following natural catastrophe insured losses, even following a relatively-benign hurricane year in the United States, data from an insurance-based company found.
Hurricane Ian and other extreme weather events such as the winter storms in Europe, flooding in Australia and South Africa as well as hailstorms in France and in the U.S. resulted in an estimated $115 billion this year to date, according to Swiss Re Institute.
Data from the company notes 2022 was the second consecutive year in which the estimated insured losses total more than $100 billion, continuing the trend of a 5–7% average annual increase over the past decade.
The industry also covered roughly 45% of the economic losses this year, indicating a large protection gap worldwide.
"2022 has been another year of increased natural catastrophe loss activity, and demand for insurance is growing as the protection gap remains vast," said Thierry Léger, group chief underwriting officer.
This comes following Hurricane Ian, which was the costliest natural catastrophe with estimated preliminary insured losses of $50–65 billion, data from Swiss Re Institute found.
The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in western Florida in late September with extreme winds, torrential rain and storm surge. It's estimated it to be the second-costliest insured loss ever on insurance premium records after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Swiss Re Institute said.
"Extreme weather events have led to high insured losses in 2022, underpinning a risk on the rise and unfolding on every continent," said Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophe perils at Swiss Re.
When Hurricane Andrew struck 30 years ago, Bertogg said a $20 billion loss event had never occurred before – now there have been seven such hurricanes in just the past six years.