Climate change driven natural disasters caused global economic losses of $313bn in 2022, according to a new report by insurance broker Aon. Less than half of these losses were insured.
The insured losses amounted to $132bn, nearly 57% above the 21st-century average. This leaves a global protection gap of 58%.
According to the Aon report while the number of catastrophic events rose to 421 individual events in 2022 compared to an average of 396 since 2000, the protection gap was one of the lowest on record.
Aon head of catastrophic insight Michal Lorinc said, "It was relatively low due to the fact that many of the costliest disasters occurred in countries with mature insurance markets such as the US or Europe, whereas losses in less-covered regions such as Asia were well below average."
The report said 75% of the global insured losses occurred in the US with hurricane Ian, which hit Florida in September 2022, causing insured damages in a range between $50bn and $55bn from total economic losses of $95bn. Hurricane Ian is the second most expensive natural disaster the insurance sector has ever faced.
In 2022 natural catastrophes took a toll of about 31,300 people, of which about two thirds were linked to the severe heatwaves in Europe between June and July 2022.
In Australia, insured losses linked to floods hit a record high of $4bn as a weather pattern associated with wet weather called La Niña extended its impacts into 2022 causing severe rainfall and flooding across the country.
In Pakistan the monsoon season caused 175% above-average precipitation from July to September 2022.