Despite a record-setting tropical season in the Pacific, 2015 was a quiet year in terms of global insured losses, according to a new report by risk and reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter & Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Global insured losses in 2015 totaled around $30.5 billion, well below the five-year average of $62.6 billion and only a fraction of the $126 billion in losses seen in 2011, Guy Carpenter said in its 2015 Global Catastrophe Review.
The Tropical North Pacific basin saw the most active season in the historical record, producing 27 major hurricanes. Notable storms include May’s Super Typhoon Noul, which impacted the Northern Philippines as a Category 5, and Typhoon Goni, which made landfall in Japan as a Category 3 in August, causing estimated insured losses of $1.16 billion.
Among the major catastrophes in 2015:
- In the eastern United States, winter storms in January caused power outages, structural damage and significant transportation disruption, with estimated insured losses around $2.1 billion.
- The U.S. also saw record summer wildfire activity, with over 10 million acres burned, causing estimated insured losses of about $960 million.
- Winter Storm Niklas brought high winds and heavy rains to much of Northern Europe in March, causing significant transportation disruption for air, rail and land. The storm produced estimated insured losses of $1.0 billion.
- In early December, excessive rainfall and flooding from Storm Desmond affected areas including Northern Ireland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, causing insured losses around $936 million.
- Later that month, Storms Eva and Frank also brought heavy rainfall and flooding to the U.K., causing evacuations, bridge collapses and severe transportation disruption, with insured losses estimated at $744 million.
- A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal in April, killing approximately 9,000 people and leaving 500,000 homeless. The earthquake caused estimated economic losses of $4.8 billion, with $210 million insured.
- Chile was struck by a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in September, with a resulting tsunami that forced at least one million people to evacuate their homes. Initial estimated insured losses range from $600 million to $900 million.
Check out Guy Carpenter’s 2015 Global Catastrophe Review for a more detailed breakdown of last year’s catastrophe events.