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Natural disaster losses cost worldwide 2000-2020

In 2020, the estimated economic loss of natural disasters worldwide was 75 billion U.S. dollars, while the estimated insured loss amounted to 30 billion U.S. dollars, according to Aon plc.

Natural disasters

Natural disasters are extreme, sudden catastrophes that are caused by natural processes by the earth. Different types of natural disasters include floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. There are many consequences that occur as a result of natural disasters, which include death, economic and infrastructural damage, and public health issues. Low income countries are more affected by natural disasters when compared to the richer countries in the world. These countries do not have enough money to rebuild after a natural disaster, and therefore rely on foreign aid.

Most costly disasters

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that happened in Japan caused the most economic damage worldwide, between 1980 and 2018. However, for the insurance industry between 1992 and 2017, Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria in the United States and Caribbean were the most expensive natural disasters. As a result of those hurricanes that year, 2017 saw the highest amount of insured property losses in the United States. Domestically, Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive natural disaster as of January 2019.

Cost of natural disaster losses worldwide from 2000 to 2020, by type of loss

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

2000 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Preliminary figures for the first half of the year.

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Statistics on "Catastrophe losses of the insurance industry"

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