By Ed Frankl


Losses from natural disasters worldwide reached around $270 billion in 2022, as climate change drove more extreme weather events such as Hurricane Ian in the U.S., Munich Re said on Tuesday.

Insured losses came to about $120 billion under provisional estimates, around the same as 2021, though that was higher than the average of $97 billion in the years of 2017-21, the German reinsurer said in a research report.

However, the total natural-catastrophe loss figure is down on 2021, when losses topped $320 billion, though 2022 joins a recent run of years with high losses, Munich Re's report said.

The high losses hitting insurers come just as they are dealing with both high inflation and a shrinking capital base due to rising interest rates, Munich Re said.

Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida and neighboring states in September, was by far the costliest natural disaster of the year, with roughly $100 billion in losses, of which some $60 billion was insured, it said.

Floods in Asia and Australia were exacerbated by La Nina weather pattern and climate change, researchers said, adding it increases the likelihood of hurricanes in North America, floods in Australia, drought and heatwaves in China, and heavier monsoon rains in parts of south Asia.

"Climate change is taking an increasing toll. The natural-disaster figures for 2022 are dominated by events that, according to the latest research findings, are more intense or are occurring more frequently," Munich Re board member Thomas Blunck said.


Write to Ed Frankl at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2023 04:25 ET (09:25 GMT)

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