- The first half of 2018 was fortunate in that natural disasters across the world caused significantly lower losses than usual. According to provisional figures, overall losses were around US$ 33bn, the lowest level since 2005 (US$ 29bn after adjustment for inflation).
- However, individual events did cause high losses for those concerned, for example crop losses in the agricultural sector as a result of drought in Europe.
- Also, it is the second half of the year that usually brings higher losses. For example, in 2017 the series of major hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria, pushed overall losses for the year to US$ 340bn.
Munich Re Board member Torsten Jeworrek: “Following a period of extreme disasters with record losses, it is nice to be able to record a phase with low losses. Of course, looking at a short timespan may distort the true picture. The most important thing is to understand the long-term developments. That is why we must continue to make every effort to understand the background to natural disasters, and provide safeguards against them in the form of intelligent prevention measures.”
Overview of natural catastrophe figures
- The overall losses of US$ 33bn were roughly half those of the previous year and of the price-adjusted average for the last 30 years.
- At approximately US$ 17bn, insured losses were less than in the previous year (US$ 25.5bn), but matched the average for the first six months over the last 30 years.
- The NatCatSERVICE database registered 430 relevant natural disasters in the first half of 2018, more than the long-term average (250). (Read more)