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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunities and Implications for Captive Insurance

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunities and Implications for Captive Insurance

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Opportunities and Implications for Captive Insurance explores the challenges presented by today's business and economic upheaval, as well as the hardening insurance market, and what it means for the captive insurance industry.

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First-Half Disasters Cause $31 Billion in Insured Property Losses

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August 13, 2020

Disasters resulted in $31 billion in global insured property losses in the first half of 2020, up from $23 billion during the same period last year, according to the Swiss Re Institute.

Natural catastrophes were responsible for $28 billion of the insured losses, most from secondary peril events, most notably North American thunderstorms, the Swiss Re Institute said. Severe convective storms in North America were responsible for more than $21 billion in insured losses, the largest amount since the first half of 2011.

Disaster events also claimed more than 2,000 lives during the first half of the year.

Global economic losses from first-half natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were $75 billion, according to the Swiss Re Institute. That figure was higher than 2019's first-half figure of $57 billion but less than the 10-year average first-half losses of $112 billion. Of the first-half economic losses, $72 billion were the result of natural disasters, the remainder caused by man-made disasters.

Among the significant secondary peril events contributing to first-half losses were North American thunderstorms with tornadoes, floods, and hail. Among them was the costliest hailstorm event ever in Canada, which caused $1 billion in damage in Calgary in June. Starting in May, heavy rainfalls caused severe flooding in several provinces along the Yangtze River in China. Wildfires in Australia and Siberia also contributed to the loss total, the Swiss Re Institute said.

"Once again, secondary perils caused most catastrophe losses in the first half of 2020," Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophe perils at Swiss Re, said in a statement. "Climate change is expected to worsen and amplify the scale of secondary peril events and associated losses in the future."

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