Insurance Natural disasters have been less devastating so far in 2018

Insurance Natural disasters have been less devastating so far in 2018

Insurance Natural disasters have been less devastating so far in 2018

After the series of devastating storms in 2017, the world has largely been spared major natural disasters this year. From the beginning of January to the end of June, the world’s largest reinsurer recorded economic losses of 33 billion dollars around the globe – a long-term mean a low figure. “It can also be described as the calm after the storm,” said Ernst Rauch, head of climate and geological research at the company, on Wednesday.

In the past year, however, a series of three severe hurricanes in the Caribbean and the three-digit billion damage caused. The worst storm this year was “Friederike”, which hit Great Britain, Northern France and the Benelux countries in January, with economic losses of 2.7 billion dollars.

Munich Re has been recording natural disasters around the world for decades. Most recently, in 2005, the balance sheet was comparatively peaceful. The number of victims in the first half of the year, at 3,000 deaths, was also far lower than the long-term average of 28,000 deaths for the first half of the year.

However, the comparatively low damage is not an indicator that this will remain so until the end of the year. “It is typical that the damage is less in the first half of the year, as the severe tropical storms do not occur until the second half of the year due to the weather,” said Rauch. “Hurricanes and other tropical storms do not form until the water temperature reaches 26 to 27 degrees. There can be individual events that can cause damage of over 100 billion dollars. ”
According to Munich Re, the most expensive storm in history so far was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused macroeconomic damage of 125 billion dollars. Earthquakes that can occur at any time are completely independent of the weather. “Earthquakes – understandably – trigger fears, but the long-term average 80 to 90 percent of the loss events are weather-related,” said Rauch. “Earthquakes can have severe humanitarian consequences, but only cause around 10 percent of the economic damage.”

In Europe, meanwhile, the current weather provides further signs of climate change. “The weather in Germany in the first half of the year unfortunately fits what the long-term climate research suggests,” said Rauch. “We have to reckon with wetter winters and drier summers, this year we have pronounced drought in northern Germany.”

The damage caused by severe thunderstorms in Germany and Central Europe also increases in the long term. In May and June, very slowly moving thunderstorms caused flash floods in many places in Germany and France. According to Munich Re, the total damage caused by the storms amounted to around 1.6 billion euros.