The costs of natural disasters in 2021 amounted to some 250 billions of dollars (221 billion euros), according to a first estimate published Tuesday by the reinsurer Swiss Re. This figure is up 20% compared to 2020.
The invoice for insurers is valued at 105 billion dollars, up 17% compared to the previous year, indicates the Swiss reinsurer in a press release. This is the fourth costliest year for insurance companies since 250 to cover disaster costs
Ida, the most expensive storm
The most expensive natural disaster for insurers this year was storm Ida , which had notably resulted in flooding in New York for which the bill for insurers is estimated at around 30 at 32 billions of dollars. Then comes the winter storm Uri, with the cold wave that had spread to Texas, affecting in particular the electricity network, the damage covered by the insurers being assessed at 15 billions of dollars.
July floods in Germany and Belgium as well as neighboring countries were the costliest disaster in Europe, resulting in 40 billions of dollars in economic losses and a bill of 10 billions of dollars for insurers.
These estimates are however provisional. They do not yet take into account the events that occurred in December which are still “under evaluation”, underlines the Swiss group in the press release, which has not given any indication at this stage on the recent tornadoes in the United States .
In addition to these heavy catastrophes, there were many so-called secondary natural disasters such as thunderstorms in hail in Europe in June, floods in the province of Henan in China as well as in British Columbia in Canada or the heat dome in Canada and the rise in temperatures in the Mediterranean which led to major fires.
“It seems to have become the norm that at least one secondary hazard, such as a severe flood, a winter storm or a fire, causes losses of more than 10 billions of dollars ”, underlined Martin Bertogg, director of the branch specializing in natural disasters by Swiss Re, cited in the press release.