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H1 insured cat losses estimated at $35B: Swiss Re

Swiss Re

Natural catastrophes in the first half of 2022 caused an estimated $35 billion in insured losses, 22% above the average over the past 10 years, according to a report Tuesday from Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd.

The costliest natural catastrophe for the insurance industry in the first half of 2022 was flooding in Australia, which caused close to $3.5 billion in insured flood losses.

Man-made events caused an additional $3 billion in insured losses, bringing total catastrophe insured losses to $38 billion.

A series of winter storms in Europe, unprecedented flooding in Australia and a number of thunderstorms in the U.S. and Europe drove losses across continents, Swiss Re said.

“The effects of climate change are evident in increasingly extreme weather events, such as the unprecedented floods in Australia and South Africa. This confirms the trend we have observed over the last five years, that secondary perils are driving insured losses in every corner of the world,” Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophe perils at Swiss Re, said in a statement with the report.

In February and March, torrential rains led to widespread flooding in Australia, setting a record for flood losses in the country so far at close to $3.5 billion, according to Swiss Re.

In February, a series of winter storms hit Europe causing estimated insured losses of $3.5 billion.