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Catastrophe losses hit $46 billion but 58% down in H1 average

Staff writer |
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield's catastrophe model development team, launched the latest edition of its Global Catastrophe Recap: First Half of 2015 report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide in the first six months of the year.

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Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc.

Global natural disaster losses during the first half of 2015, from both an economic and insured loss perspective, were each below the 10-year (2005-2014) average.

Preliminary data determined that economic losses were $46 billion, down 58 percent from the 10-year average of $107 billion, and insured losses were $15 billion, down 47 percent from the 10-year average of $28 billion.*

The percentage of global economic losses that were covered by insurance (including both private insurers and government-sponsored programs) was 31 percent. This is slightly above the 10-year average of 27 percent because the majority of the losses occurred in regions with higher insurance penetration.

By contrast, around two percent of the multi-billion-dollar economic loss from the Nepal earthquake was covered by insurance. Statistics like this show how catastrophe models can play a role in helping the insurance industry to better understand these risks and seek ways to grow insurance penetration in underserved regions.

The severe thunderstorm peril was the costliest disaster type, comprising 33 percent of the economic loss and 49 percent of the insured loss. Most of the costs were attributed to strong convective thunderstorm events that prompted widespread hail, damaging straight-line winds, tornadoes, and major flash flooding in the United States during the months of April, May and June.

A clear majority (73 percent) of the insured losses were sustained in the United States due to an active winter season combined with numerous spring severe convective storm events. Asia Pacific was second with 14 percent and Europe, Middle East & Africa was third with 11 percent of the insured loss.

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