Natural disasters in 2020: secondary perils at the forefront

natural disastersA Swiss Re Institute report shows that the economic losses generated by natural and man-made disasters reached 202 billion USD in 2020. This cost increased by 48% compared to 2019.

The economic cost of natural disasters amounted to 190 billion USD while man-made disasters reached 12 billion USD.

The insured losses totalled 89 billion USD, 81 billion USD of which are related to the damages caused by natural disasters and 8 billion USD of which caused by man-made catastrophic losses.

The Beirut port explosion is the highest man-made loss in 2020. The economic losses are estimated between 3.8 and 4.6 billion USD and the insured losses are believed to be around 1.5 billion USD.

The study, published on 30 March 2021, also emphasizes the magnitude of secondary perils defined as the side effects of a major disaster. The latter represent more than 70% of the amount of the natural catastrophe losses, that is 57.4 billion USD.

In 2019, the losses generated by secondary perils were established at 31.9 billion USD.

With a total of 274 natural disasters and 7 993 victims, 2020 is considered as the fifth most costly year for insurers since 1970.

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