As bad as 2020 was, global insured catastrophe losses came in at relatively normal levels. The U.S. stands as a notable exception, however, with a large surge in hurricanes, wildfires, and other extreme weather events, according to a new Aon report.
Specifically, global insured catastrophe losses reached $86 billion for 2020, a result that hit “near average levels,” Aon said. In the U.S., insured catastrophe losses landed at $66 billion for 2020, something Aon pointed out was “significantly higher” than usual compared to the previous 10-year average of $46 billion.
Why were U.S. insured catastrophe losses so high? Aon blames a number of factors, including a record number of Atlantic hurricanes that made U.S. landfall, and lines of intense, widespread and fast-moving windstorms and thunderstorms that struck the Midwest. Massive U.S. wildfires also adversely affected the catastrophe results.
Hurricane Laura was the most expensive storm in the U.S., according to Aon, leaving $9 billion in insured catastrophe losses behind.
In sharp contrast, the rest of the Americas, the Asia Pacific region and Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw much less insured catastrophe loss activity. Aon said their estimated insured losses was about 50 percent of the average numbers that typically result.
Among other findings in the Aon report:
The full report is Aon’s Reinsurance Market Outlook for January 2021.