Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Natural Disaster Insurance Covered $90B Losses in 2018


February 20, 2019: The economic costs of 2018 natural disaster events came to US$225 billion with insurance covering US$90 billion of the overall total, according to “Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight – 2018 Annual Report" published by Aon.

The insurance and reinsurance broker said that this makes 2018 the fourth costliest year on record of insured losses.

Economic losses from natural catastrophes and severe weather events around the globe cost the economies of the world $225 billion, meaning that the protection gap, or portion of economic losses not covered by insurance, was 60% which Aon says is the lowest level since 2005.

The biggest driver for natural catastrophes in 2018 was the tropical cyclone peril following several significant landfalling storms, including Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence (United States), Typhoon Jebi and Typhoon Trami (Japan), Typhoon Mangkhut (Asia), and Typhoon Rumbia (China). Each of those storms minimally caused at least USD4 billion in damage.


The costliest global peril around the world since 2000 has been tropical cyclone. This has largely been driven by extreme loss years in 2018, 2017, 2012, 2005, and 2004, which account for nearly USD848 billion of the USD1.25 trillion total alone. The next two perils – flooding and earthquake – are often most frequent and significant in parts of Asia. Perhaps most noteworthy in this analysis is the cost of drought. At USD372 billion, the peril has averaged slightly less than USD20 billion in annual losses in the 21st Century.

Global human fatalities due to natural disasters in 2018

More than 10,000 people sadly lost their lives to natural disasters in 2018. Approximately 79 percent of fatalities occurred in the Asia Pacific region. Floods generally were responsible for approximately 36 percent of worldwide fatalities, followed by the earthquake peril, which resulted in 31 percent of deaths. 

Full report can be retrieved from: http://thoughtleadership.aonbenfield.com/Documents/20190122-ab-if-annual-weather-climate-report-2018.pdf