Summary of Natural Catastrophe Events 2018

Insured losses and economic impact due to natural disasters

January 16, 2019
| United States, Canada, Bermuda +29 more
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • France
  • Oman
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Australia
  • Yemen
  • Sweden
  • Greece
  • China
  • India
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Somalia
  • Croatia
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
This report summarizes economic and insured losses from the most relevant natural catastrophe events that occurred during 2018. The loss values presented herein include those reported by Willis Re, catastrophe model vendors, reinsurance companies and third-party organizations.

Our insured loss estimates from major natural catastrophes in 2018 of about USD 71.5 billion are one of the highest since the 2011 annual market losses of USD 120 billion. However, the insured losses in 2018 are slightly less than half of those from 2017, and are marginally above the average annual losses over the last eight years (see figure below). Contrasting the previous peak years where one or a couple of natural disasters represented a large percentage of the insured losses during that given year (e.g., HIM hurricanes in the North Atlantic in 2017, Superstorm Sandy impacting New York in 2012, or the Tohoku, Japan, Earthquake in 2011), for 2018 there is no such major event(s) concentrating a large proportion of the losses. So what is observed for 2018 are losses coming from minor and medium-sized loss events.

  • In the U.S., the largest hurricane single insured loss came by the end of the hurricane season when Hurricane Michael impacted Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas between October 10 and 12, producing circa USD 6 to 10 billion of insured losses. In addition, the wildfires in Carr, Mendocino, Camp and Woolsey, CA, produced a combined loss of about USD 15 billion.
  • In Japan, Tropical Cyclone Jebi in early September caused USD 8.5 billion of insured losses, representing the largest loss from a tropical cyclone in Japan. In spite of this, Jebi hit Japan with an intensity very much expected from a scientific point of view and at a location well embedded into commercial risk vendor models.
  • Europe saw lower insured losses from natural disasters during 2018 than in recent previous years, with Winter Storm Friederike (called David in France) being the largest event. It impacted mainly Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, with insured losses circa USD 2 billion.
  • In the Middle East, Tropical Cyclone Mekunu, the hurricane with the highest intensity to hit Oman on record, caused over USD 400 million of insured losses, while in Latin America and the Caribbean, the highlight of 2018 is the occurrence of no single major insured loss from natural disasters.

Insured losses from natural catastrophes since 2011 (Willis Re estimates)

Insured losses from fcatastrophes since 2011 
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