Aon confirms in its summary of catastrophes recorded in the first six months of 2021 that for the first time, winter storms were the main loss driver in a given half-year period.

Major events in Europe and the U.S., including those that caused widespread power outages in February, incurred $34 billion in damage, the highest cumulative total caused by winter storms.

 In addition to the two major winter storms in Europe and the U.S., Aon recorded seven other sets of storms that rang up more than $1 billion in insured losses. These storms also accounted for 85 per cent of the economic losses recorded in the first six months of 2021.

A growing impact  

Earthquakes were the most expensive natural disaster in terms of economic losses for the first half of a year since the start of the 21st century, bringing the cumulative total loss since 2000 to $684 billion. They also rank as the second most expensive insured peril for the first six months of the year, with a cumulative bill of $97 billion for insurers since 2000.

Severe weather events have been the most costly peril for insurers since 2000 for the first six months of the year. Insurance companies collectively paid out $301 billion to cover claims since the beginning of the 21st century. The economic damage caused by these catastrophes amounts to $466 billion since 2000, ranking third behind floods, at $492 billion, of which $95 billion was insured.

What’s more, the winter peril is growing, Aon notes in its report. It now accounts for $188 billion in cumulative economic losses in the first half of the year since 2000, including $67 billion in insured losses.