2020 Natural Disasters Create $210B In Losses Globally

 Monday, January 11, 2021

 Insurance Thought Leadership

A record hurricane season and wildfires generated by climate change led to $210 billion in losses from natural disasters globally, a new report released Thursday said.

The Atlantic Ocean saw more hurricanes than ever during the past season and the western United States experienced historic wildfires, fueled by the second-warmest year on record, the report by global insurer Munich Re said.

The losses were more than $166 billion in 2019, including $57 billion in insurance losses.

"Global losses from natural disasters in 2020 came to $210 billion, of which some $82 billion was insured," the report said. "Both overall losses and insured losses were significantly higher than in the previous year."

Category 4 Hurricane Laura was the most expensive storm to hit the United States, leaving $13 billion in damages. Fires in the western United States -- hitting California, Colorado and Oregon the hardest -- totaled another $16 billion in damages.