LONDON, England: Insurance broker Aon has estimated that natural disasters caused global economic losses worth $313 billion in 2022.
It added that losses from natural catastrophes, many being caused by climate change and covered by the insurance sector amounted to $132 billion, 57 percent over the 21st-century average, leaving a global "protection gap" of 58 percent.
Aon said the protection gap was one of the lowest on record, despite the rising number of catastrophic events, such as floods and hurricanes, with at least 421 individual events, compared to an average of 396 since 2000.
In an interview with Reuters, Michal Lorinc, head of catastrophe insight at Aon, said, "It was relatively low due to the fact that many of the costliest disasters occurred in countries with mature insurance markets, such as US or Europe, whereas losses in less-covered regions such as Asia were well below average."
According to Aon, in 2022 some 31,300 people died as a result of natural catastrophe events, with two-thirds being linked to severe heatwaves in Europe between June and July.
In Australia, insured losses linked to floods reached a record $4 billion, as the weather phenomenon called La Nina extended into 2022, causing severe rainfall and flooding around the country.
Additionally, the monsoon season in Pakistan caused 175 percent above-average precipitation from July to September, Aon said, citing the local Meteorological Department.