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article imageNatural disasters in past decade cost the world $3 trillion

By Karen Graham     Jan 22, 2020 in Business
The last decade was the worst on record for economic losses from natural disasters, amounting to $3 trillion - over a trillion more than the previous decade, insurance broker Aon pic said on Wednesday.
As global warming continues to affect the frequency and intensity of weather events, the impact of natural disasters – including financial costs will only increase, according to Aon’s latest catastrophe report. Aon pic is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.
Launched on Wednesday, the company's Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2019 Annual Report evaluates the impact of global natural disaster events - giving insight into developing trends, as well as manageability and the resilience needed.
The economic cost of natural disasters to global economies reached US$2.98 trillion between 2010 and 2019, which was US$1.19 trillion higher than 2000-2009. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 44 percent of this total. During this same time period, insurance, both private and public, paid out US$845 billion globally, with the U.S. accounting for 55 percent of the total, according to the Insurance Journal.
In March  Cyclone Ida devasted the port city of Beira and its farming hinterland
In March, Cyclone Ida devasted the port city of Beira and its farming hinterland
Adrien BARBIER, AFP
More intense weather-related events, larger populations in the path of disasters and widespread supply chain disruption globally contributed to the sharp rise in the economic damage, said Aon.
“Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the last decade of natural disasters was the emergence of previously considered ‘secondary’ perils – such as wildfire, flood, and drought – becoming much more costly,” said Steve Bowen, director, and meteorologist at Aon’s impact forecasting team, according to Reuters.
“Scientific research indicates that climate change will continue to affect all types of weather phenomena and subsequently impact increasingly urbanized areas.”
Townsville and other parts of northeastern Australia have had a year's worth of rainfall in a w...
Townsville and other parts of northeastern Australia have had a year's worth of rainfall in a week causing devastating flooding
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, QUEENSLAND FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES/AFP
Andy Marcell, CEO of Aon's Reinsurance Solutions business, commented: "Following two costly back-to-back years for natural disasters in 2017 and 2018, there were several moderately large catastrophes but strong capitalization has allowed the re/insurance industry to comfortably manage recent losses.
The year 2019 saw a total of 409 global natural catastrophe events that totaled $232 billion in losses, with US$71 billion covered by insurance. From the chart below, one can see that inland flooding and tropical cyclones created the greatest peril, including loss of lives.
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Aon pic
Last year was the second-warmest on record for land and ocean temperatures since records began in 1851. Scientific research indicates that climate change will continue to affect all types of weather phenomena and subsequently result in a greater risk of damages.
As the public and private sectors balance an understanding of the science with smart business solutions, this will lead to new advances that lower physical risk and improve overall awareness. This what resilience is all about.
Aon's 2019 estimates topped those by global reinsurer Munich Re, which said last week that overall natural catastrophe losses were $150 billion, and insured losses $52 billion.
More about Natural disasters, economic losses, Aon pic, Warming temperatures, insurance risks
 
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