Insured natural catastrophe losses hit $15 billion: Munich Re

Source: Business Insurance

Claire Wilkinson July 30, 2019 Insured losses from global natural catastrophes totaled $15 billion in the first half of 2019, below the long-term average of $18 billion and down from $23 billion in the same period of 2018, according to a report released Tuesday by Munich Reinsurance Co. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the U.S. Midwest in May produced insured losses of around $2.5 billion, making this event the costliest insured catastrophe loss in the first half of this year, Munich Re said. Two further tornado/thunderstorm events in the U.S., flooding in Australia in January and February, and winter storm Eberhard in Europe rounded out the top five most costly insured catastrophes in the first half of the year, according to Munich Re’s review. A total of 370 loss events around the world produced overall economic losses of $42 billion in the first half of 2019, lower than the 30-year average of $69 billion on an inflation-adjusted basis, Munich Re said in a statement. This figure excludes losses from severe floods in southeast China in June that reportedly caused billions of dollars in damage. For many events, the insured loss total was small due to low insurance penetration in many of the affected countries, according to the review. Munich Re said around 4,200 people died in natural disasters in the first half of 2019, relatively unchanged from around 4,300 in the year-ago period.