Asia hit for US$18.4bn of nat cat claims in 2018

January 11 2019 by InsuranceAsia News Staff

Asia accounted for 23% (around US$18.4 billion) of the US$80 billion total of insured losses from global natural catastrophes in 2018, according to Munich Re.

The Asian total compared with 68% of losses from the US and 8% from Europe. The remaining losses of less than 1% were divided between Africa, Australia, Oceania and South America.

Around 50% (US$80 billion) of the US$160 billion global macroeconomic losses from natural catastrophes in 2018 were insured. This is a significantly higher percentage than the 30-year average of around 29% (assuming an average inflation-adjusted economic loss of US$140 billion and claims of US$41 billion). That makes 2018 the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance market.

Overall economic losses from tropical cyclones in 2018 came to around US$57 billion, of which US$29 billion was insured. In particular, Hurricanes Michael and Florence in the US, and Typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut and Trami in Asia caused significant damage. Japan’s P&C powerhouses ended up paying out a record number of claims.

Wildfires in California also had a significant effect, producing overall losses of US$24 billion and insured losses of US$18 billion.

Munich Re said payouts by the insurance market have helped to boost catastrophe resilience. However, industrialised countries still account for the vast majority of insurance payouts following natural catastrophes, while there has been a steadily growing willingness to take out cover against natural disasters since the 1980s. Meanwhile, emerging and developing countries still have a long way to catch up and have a huge insurance protection gap.

Around the world, 10,400 people lost their lives as a result of natural disasters over the year.

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