Winter storms in Europe, floods in Australia and South Africa and an increase in storms in the US and Europe led to US$ 35 billion in insured losses from natural disasters in the first half of 2022, according to Swiss Re. Institute at hypothetical.
Man-made events caused US$ 3 billion in insurance costs, which brought the H1 insured loss to US$ 38 billion.
Higher temperatures in many parts of Europe could lead to further damage from drought and wildfires. The weather events of the last six months also show that natural disasters, especially secondary disasters, are increasing in frequency and severity in all regions.
“The effects of climate change are evident in the increasing number of extreme weather events, such as the unprecedented floods in Australia and South Africa,” said Martin Bertogg, head of Catastrophe Perils at Swiss Re, in a statement.
“This confirms what we have seen in the last five years, that certain risks are causing insurance losses around the world. Unlike hurricanes or earthquakes, these risks are everywhere and are growing due to the rapid increase in urbanization in vulnerable areas. Considering the number of for global destruction, secondary hazards require the same risk assessment as major hazards such as hurricanes,” he added.
Europe, Australia Storms
In February, a winter storm hit Europe and caused insurance losses of about $3.5 billion, creating a major crisis for the insurance industry, Swiss Re said.
In February and March, heavy rains caused floods in Australia, causing the country’s flood damage to be estimated at US$3.5 billion. Swiss said it was one of the costliest natural disasters in Australia for the insurance industry and the costliest event in the world for insurers in the first half of 2022.
Floods in South Africa as well as in India, China and Bangladesh confirm that flooding in rural areas around the world is on the rise, the lender added.
In the first half of 2022, severe weather including hail and storms hit France, so far causing about €4 billion of damage to the insurance market, based on data from the French Federation of Insurance Companies.
Two of Europe’s hottest summers have fueled wildfires in southwestern Europe. The global temperature for June 2022 was about 0.3°C above the 1991-2020 average, making it the third warmest June on record, Swiss Re said.
As climate change is predicted to increase droughts, the likelihood of wildfires increases, wreaking havoc where major cities intersect with wildlands, the report added.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our country and the global economy. With 75% of natural disasters still undiagnosed, we see huge security gaps growing around the world due to today’s challenges,” said Jérôme Jean Haegeli, chief economist of the Swiss Re group. “In cooperation with the public sector, the insurance industry is very important to mobilize people. to be able to cope with climate risks, by generating income and creating sustainable jobs.”
Global economic losses from natural and man-made disasters are estimated at $75 billion in the first half of 2022, which is below the average of the past 10 years (US $80 billion).
Source: Swiss Re Institute
Photo: In this photo provided by the State Emergency Service, a house is threatened by flood waters near Singleton, Australia, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Photo credit: State Emergency Service via AP.
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