According to insurer Aon, natural disasters in 2021 caused economic losses of $283 billion - only 38 percent of which was covered by insurance. Back in October Steve Bowen, meteorologist & Head of Catastrophe Insight at Aon, predicted that 2021 would become the sixth year of the last ten to surpass the $100 billion insured losses mark due to natural and climate change-related disasters. In the end, his prediction was proven to be correct, underlining the vast and continuing economic costs caused by such events.
As documented by ReliefWeb and Christian Aid, the most expensive natural catastrophe in terms of insured losses in 2021 was Hurricane Ida which claimed the lives of 95 people and racked up costs of $65 billion. Flooding which affected regions in Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and killed 240 people, led to insured losses of $43 billion.
Speaking on the role of climate change in these disasters, Dr. Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate policy lead, said: “The costs of climate change have been grave (in 2021), both in terms of eyewatering financial losses but also in the death and displacement of people around the world. Be it storms and floods in some of the world’s richest countries or droughts and heatwaves in some of the poorest, the climate crisis hit hard. While it was good to see some progress made at the COP26 summit, it is clear that the world is not on track to ensure a safe and prosperous world.”