Munich Re reveals total insured global losses for 2023

Munich Re reveals total insured global losses for 2023

Munich Re announces total insured global losses for 2023 | Insurance business America

The damage was caused by numerous severe regional storms


By Kenneth Araullo

Figures and statistics from reinsurance giant Munich Re show that insured global losses in 2023 exceeded the 10-year average at $95 billion.

In 2023, natural disasters worldwide caused damage of around $250 billion, which is in line with the previous year’s figures. However, insured losses were below the previous year’s figure of $125 billion. Total losses were in line with the five-year average, while insured losses were slightly below the average of $105 billion.

Unlike previous years, no major disasters in the developed world contributed to these numbers, unlike events such as Hurricane Ian in 2022, which caused $100 billion in total losses and $60 billion in insured losses. dollars caused.

This year’s losses were largely due to numerous severe regional storms, particularly in the USA and Europe, which resulted in unprecedented thunderstorm damage. In North America, losses totaled around $66 billion, with $50 billion insured, while Europe saw losses of $10 billion, with $8 billion insured. Research suggests a connection between climate change and severe weather, including thunderstorms.

In 2023, there was a significant increase in deaths from natural disasters, rising to 74,000, significantly exceeding the annual average of 10,000 over the past five years. The majority of these deaths were due to a series of devastating earthquakes, with approximately 63,000 deaths attributed to geophysical hazards – the highest since 2010. However, economic losses were predominantly due to severe storms, which accounted for 76% of total damage, while geophysical causes represented was 24%.

The year 2023 was also characterized by exceptionally high temperatures

The year 2023 was characterized by exceptionally high temperatures. Global averages through November were about 1.3°C above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels, making 2023 potentially the hottest year on record. This trend, which researchers largely attribute to climate change, was partly influenced by the El Niño phenomenon. Record-breaking seasonal temperatures have been observed worldwide, leading to significant wildfires in regions such as Canada, where over 18.5 million hectares have been destroyed.

Ernst Rauch, chief climate scientist, emphasized the need for society and industry to adapt to the changing risks caused by climate change. He noted the increasing potential for damage from extreme weather events, underpinned by higher temperatures and humidity in the atmosphere.

“Society and industry must adapt to the changing risks – otherwise the claims burden will inevitably increase.” The analysis of risks and their changes is firmly anchored in Munich Re’s DNA. This enables us to consistently offer – and even expand – insurance protection against natural disasters. This will allow us to cushion some of the losses and alleviate some of the hardships that have arisen,” said Rauch.

The most devastating event of the year was a series of earthquakes in southeastern Turkey and Syria, with the most severe, a magnitude 7.8 quake, the strongest in Turkey in decades. There were 58,000 deaths and significant damage to infrastructure, with total damages of approximately $50 billion, but insured losses of only $5.5 billion.

Typhoon Doksuri in China and Hurricane Otis in Mexico were also major disasters, with experts linking those events to patterns of climate change that included more violent and rainy storms.

“The year 2023 was again characterized by extremely high insured losses from natural catastrophes, although there were no extreme individual losses. “This underlines the important role that insurance companies play in cushioning the consequences of natural disasters,” said Munich Re board member Thomas Blunck.

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2024-01-09 13:24:28