Global First-Half Disaster Losses Slightly Below 21st Century Average

Images depicting climates thunderstorms in the ocean a hurricane a yellow orange sky and a blue sky with puffy white clouds

July 27, 2021

Images depicting climates thunderstorms in the ocean a hurricane a yellow orange sky and a blue sky with puffy white clouds

Global natural disaster losses during the first half of 2021 were slightly below average, compared to 10-year and twenty-first century averages, according to a new report from Aon.

Aon's "Global Catastrophe Recap First Half of 2021" notes however, that the year's first-half disaster losses were above a longer-term average from 1980 to 2020.

First-half global economic losses of $93 billion were 32 percent below the $136 billion average over the prior decade, 16 percent less than the $110 billion average since 2020 but 9 percent higher than the $85 billion average since 1980, Aon reported.

Insured losses over the period were estimated at $42 billion, 2 percent higher than the 10-year average of $41 billion, 39 percent higher than the twenty-first century average of $30 billion, and 101 percent higher than the $21 billion average since 1980, Aon said.

The Aon report said there were at least 163 natural disaster events during the first half of this year. That figure is below the twenty-first century average of 191. But, while the first half of 2021 saw fewer event occurrences, the period was marked by several large-scale, billion-dollar, and high-impact events, Aon said.

There were at least 22 separate billion-dollar disaster events during the first 6 months of 2021, according to Aon. All but one of those events were weather-related, the exception being an earthquake near the coast of Japan in February. Ten of the first half's billion-dollar events were in the United States; six in the Asia-Pacific region; four in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; and two in the Americas.

Aon said that for the first time in its catastrophe insight database, winter weather was the leading driver of economic losses during a 6-month period. The more than $34 billion in winter weather-related losses was the highest total ever recorded for the peril, Aon said. Severe convective storm was another active peril during the first half, the broker said, with the two perils together accounting for 85 percent of first-half global insured losses.

July 27, 2021