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315 natural catastrophe events in 2016 led to losses of $210 billion

Staff Writer |
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield's catastrophe model development team, presented its 2016 Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report.

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The report evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during the last 12 months to promote awareness and enhance resilience. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc.

The report reveals that there were 315 natural catastrophe events in 2016 that generated economic losses of $210 billion.

For historical context, 2016 was the seventh highest year on record with the combined economic loss exceeding the $200 billion threshold for the first time since 2013.

The top three perils—flooding, earthquake and severe weather—combined for 70 percent of all economic losses in 2016.

While at least 72 percent of catastrophe losses occurred outside of the United States, it still accounted for 56 percent of global insured losses.

Overall, just 26 percent ($54 billion) of overall economic losses were covered by insurance in 2016 due to a higher percentage of damage occurring in areas with a lower insurance penetration.

However, the public and private insurance industry losses were 7 percent above the 16-year average and the highest insured loss total since 2012. 2016 marked the end of a four-year downward trend since the record year in 2011.

There were at least 34 natural disasters that caused more than $1.0 billion in economic damage around the globe, though just 11 of those events had insurable losses reach the same threshold.

The vast majority of the billion-dollar events (30) were weather-related, and only nine had insured losses at or above $1.0 billion.

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