Insured losses from major natural disasters amounted to approximately $ 78 billion by 2020, according to a report Tuesday from Willis Re, the reinsurance business of Willis Towers Watson PLC.
It was the fourth largest sum since 2011 and about 17% according to report data.
Last year saw the most active local season in the North Atlantic ever, reaching 30 named storms. Few landed, however, and no one produced a double-digit loss of billions of dollars. Hurricane Laura was the largest weather-related loss event with an estimated insurance loss of between $ 8 and $ 9 billion.
"A record number of hurricanes in the North Atlantic were formed in 2020, but landfall did not occur in large numbers or affect areas with highly concentrated insured exposures," Vaughn Jensen, vice president, disaster analysis, at Willis Re North America, said in a statement issued with
"If they had done so, the story of 2020 would have been dramatically different. However, the large number of storms and the continued occurrence of billions of dollars of fires in the United States and elsewhere, plus the severity of the Iowa derecho event, give the industry reason to consider new emerging trends.
In Europe, windstorm Ciara (Sabine) hit more than ten countries, causing nearly $ 2 billion in insured losses.
In Asia, tropical cyclone Haishen caused less than $ 1 billion in insured losses, significantly less than the typhoon losses of billions of dollars in 2019.
The largest natural disaster event in 2020 that hit Latin America and the Caribbean was Hurricane Iota in November, with a estimated financial loss of about $ 1.3 billion, but a much lower insurance.
"Natural disaster losses were high by 2020, but things could have been worse," Yingzhen Chuang, regional director of disaster analysis at Willis Re International, said in the statement.