Climate-related losses are likely to escalate with every additional increment of global warming - Aon

This first quarter of 2022 saw significant natural hazard activity occurring in Western and Central Europe (Windstorms Dudley/Ylenia, Eunice/Zeynep and Franklin/Antonia), Australia (East Coast Floods), Japan (March 16 Earthquake) and the United States (Severe Convective Storms). This is according to Aon’s Global Catastrophe Recap – Q1 2022 report.

Preliminary economic losses from natural hazards totaled $32 billion during the first quarter, of which $14 billion was covered by public and private insurers.

The Asia Pacific region accounted for the highest percentage of Q1 economic losses ($15+ billion), followed by Europe ($7 billion) and the United States ($6 billion).

These totals are expected to be upwardly revised in the coming weeks and months due to loss development expected in the aftermath of larger scale events. 

For public and private insurers, the $36 billion in Q1 weather-related insured losses in 2021 and 2022 represented the second-highest two-year total on record – second only to 2020 and 2021, which tallied $40 billion and was primarily driven by the $25 billion of losses seen in 2021.

The two-year record for all natural hazards (including earthquakes, tsunamis, etc) remains 2010 and 2011 at $98 billion.

Impact of climate change

Steve Bowen, managing director and head of Catastrophe Insight for Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said: “The first quarter is typically the quietest of the year, though 2022 marked the sixth consecutive year to record more than $10 billion in insured losses.

”In our Q1 study, we highlighted the final,released findings of the IPCC’s recent Sixth Assessment Report, which stated that projected climate-related losses are likely to escalate with every additional increment of global warming. This will further compound overall risk levels on a global scale.

”Adaptation, planning and strategic implementation need to be three fundamental aspects to climate change preparedness, as they can lead to significant societal and ecological protection as communities navigate this increasing volatility.”

In terms of climatic trends, when compared to global records dating back to 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cited January 2022 as the sixth-warmest January on record, February the seventh warmest, and March the fifth warmest.