For the third consecutive year, claims arising from weather-related incidents are anticipated to surpass
the formidable milestone of $100 billion, as the escalating frequency of floods, hailstorms, and wildfires
attributed to climate change underscores the escalating impact of natural catastrophes.
Leading reinsurance companies, Munich Re and Swiss Re, have independently assessed the aggregate
global insured costs of natural-catastrophe events in the first half of 2023. Munich Re’s estimation stands
at $43 billion, while Swiss Re pegs the figure at $50 billion, as outlined in a comprehensive report by
Significantly, more than two-thirds of the insured losses stem from severe thunderstorms in the United
States. The trajectory toward surpassing the twelve-figure threshold remains consistent, despite the fact
that merely $5 billion of the $40 billion attributed to damages resulting from the most devastating event
of the year—the earthquake impacting Turkey and Syria, leading to an estimated loss of 58,000
lives—was insured. The United States’ full hurricane season, extending until November’s conclusion is
yet to unfold completely. Swiss Re has reported limited insured losses in connection with the summer
heat waves witnessed in both Europe and the US earlier this month. These losses will be incorporated
into the second-half results.
The magnitude of natural catastrophe insured losses stood at $125 billion in 2022, diverging significantly
from the decade’s average cost of $81 billion and the preceding five-year average of $110 billion.
Nonetheless, the surge in claims does not necessarily denote adversity for insurers. Swiss Re’s net
income for the first half of the year witnessed growth as it effectively managed its losses from natural
catastrophes. Concurrently, past calamities amplified the demand for insurance coverage, even as the
company adjusted its policy pricing.