Latest 2021 stats on weather related losses around the world are in focus with Munich Re;
- In 2021, natural disasters caused overall losses of US$ 280bn, of which roughly US$ 120bn were insured
- Alongside 2005 and 2011, the year 2021 proved to be the second-costliest ever for the insurance sector (record year 2017: US$ 146bn, inflation-adjusted) – overall losses from natural disasters were the fourth-highest to date (record year 2011: US$ 355bn)
- Hurricane Ida was the year’s costliest natural disaster, with overall losses of US$ 65bn (insured losses of US$ 36bn)
- In Europe, flash floods after extreme rainfall caused losses of US$ 54bn (€46bn) – the costliest natural disaster on record in Germany
- Many of the weather catastrophes fit in with the expected consequences of climate change, making greater loss preparedness and climate protection a matter of urgency.
Overall losses came to €46bn (US$ 54bn), of which €33bn (US$ 40bn) was in Germany. The insured portion was relatively low because of uninsured infrastructure losses and the limited insurance density for flooding in Germany. €11bn (US$ 13bn) was insured, of which €8.2bn (US$ 9.7bn) was in Germany, according to figures provided by the Association of German Insurers. It is the costliest natural disaster in Germany and Europe to date.
On a global level, around 57% of losses from natural catastrophes in 2021 were not insured. Those affected must bear the financial losses themselves, or rely on aid. This insurance gap has declined over the last few decades in industrialised countries, whereas in poorer countries it remains unchanged at over 90%.
In industrialised countries, the proportion of insured losses depends on the particular natural hazard concerned. For example, in the USA and Europe, insurance density is much lower for floods than for storms. Some infrastructure in the USA is insured, while this is seldom the case in Europe.
“Greater insurance density can help people and countries to better cope with the financial consequences of a disaster and help them return to a normal life. Developing concepts in partnership with governments (public-private partnerships) certainly makes sense,” explains Ernst Rauch.