Aon estimates global insured catastrophe losses in Q1 2023 at $15 billion

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Analysts from Aon’s Impact Forecasting division have estimated global losses to private and public insurance entities in Q1 of 2023 at $15 billion, while total economic losses are expected to reach at least $63 billion.

According to the analysts, the $15 billion insured loss estimate is close to the average and median of the last 10 years. However, they suggest that potential loss development is likely to increase the total further.

Aon writes, “While insured losses in the first quarter of 2021 were largely driven by the historic winter weather event in North America and a Fukushima earthquake in Japan, the beginning of 2022 saw costly windstorms in Europe, the costliest Australian disaster on record, as well as another earthquake in Fukushima.

“The picture was different in 2023, as severe convective storms in the United States were the primary driver ($5.4 billion). A large part of losses was also attributed to the earthquake peril at approximately $3.5 billion.”

58% of the insured losses were generated by events in the US, while Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for 25%.

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Another notable contributor to the global Q1 toll was New Zealand, with unprecedented weather-related losses within a span of four weeks, including the Auckland flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.

Aon’s current estimates of insured losses from those two events alone are close to $2 billion.

Meanwhile, the Q1 2023 $63 billion total economic loss forecast is well above the average when compared to the 21st Century baseline ($53 billion) and significantly higher than the median ($38 billion).

Aon states that economic losses were dominated by the impact of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, which comprised more than half of total losses ($39.1 billion).

The firm notes that it was the costliest Q1 in EMEA since at least 1990, when windstorms hit Europe and a deadly tremor impacted Iran.

Q1 2023 was also by far the deadliest since 2010, when a destructive earthquake in Haiti resulted in approximately 160,000 fatalities.

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