Natural disasters – additional information
By definition, a natural disaster is an event which is caused by naturally occurring phenomena which results in catastrophe. Man-made disasters encompass events such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
The most expensive natural disasters for the insurance industry worldwide have been recorded from 1980 onwards. The top 10 is dominated by hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina in the United States in August 2005 was the most expensive hurricane and caused insured losses of 60 billion U.S. dollars and total losses reached approximately 125 billion U.S. dollars.
In 2016, the insured losses due to natural disasters in the United States were estimated according to disaster type. Severe thunderstorms proved to be the most costly for that year with estimated insurance costs exceeding 5.1 billion U.S. dollars. During the same year, tropical cyclones cost the U.S. insurance industry 3.5 billion U.S. dollars in insured losses.
The most costly floods to the insurance industry worldwide have also been recorded from 1980 onwards. The most costly flood in the United States occurred in 1993, and is now known as the Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood. The flood cost 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in insured costs and approximately 21 billion U.S. dollars in total costs.