The global economy faced $123bn losses from natural catastrophes in 2015, in the warmest year since 1880, according to Aon Benfield’s annual Impact Forecasting catastrophe report.
The report reveals that 300 separate global natural disasters occurred in 2015, compared to a 15-year average of 269 events.
They caused a combined total insured loss of $35bn: 31% below the $51bn average over the past 15 years; and the lowest annual insured loss total since 2009.
The costliest event for insurers was a February winter storm that impacted much of the eastern US and resulted in public and private insurance payouts of more than $2.1bn, noted the report.
The global economic loss figure of $123bn from natural disasters – 30% below the 15-year average of $175bn.
“Global insured property catastrophes in 2015 accounted for just 28 percent of economic losses, in-line with the 10-year average of 29 percent,” said Stephen Mildenhall, chairman of Aon Analytics.
“In many regions, economic catastrophe losses are very material relative to national GDP and yet are insured at much lower levels than in the United States and Europe,” he said.
The study reveals that the three costliest perils – flood, severe thunderstorm, and wildfire – accounted for 59 percent of all economic losses during the 12 months under review.
The deadliest event of 2015 was the magnitude-7.8 earthquake and subsequent aftershock that struck Nepal in April and May, killing more than 9,100 people and costing $8bn in damage and reconstruction.