Financial losses from extreme weather events like hurricanes and other storm events have caused about $115 billion in insurances losses around the world, according to one of the largest companies in the world that insures insurance companies.
The reinsurance giant Swiss RE attributed between $50 and $65 billion in damages to Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in western Florida in September, and $50 billion more to “secondary perils” like floods and hailstorms.
"Extreme weather events have led to high insured losses in 2022, underpinning a risk on the rise and unfolding on every continent. Urban development, wealth accumulation in disaster-prone areas, inflation and climate change are key factors at play, turning extreme weather into ever-rising natural catastrophe losses,” said Swiss RE head of catastrophe perils Martin Bertogg. “When Hurricane Andrew struck 30 years ago, a $20 billion loss event had never occurred before — now there have been seven such hurricanes in just the past six years.”
This year’s total surpasses the 10-year average of $81 billion.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. has sustained 338 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages and costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of those events is more than $2.295 trillion.
As of Oct. 11, there have been 15 weather events with losses exceeding $1 billion in 2022. Between 2019 and 2021, the U.S. experienced 56 of those events at the cost of $315 billion.