Q1 2023 resulted in above average natural catastrophe losses around the world, led primarily by powerful earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and severe convective storms in the US.
Gallagher Re has estimated the total economic loss worldwide for all natural hazards at an estimated US$77bn – the highest Q1 total since 2011, according to its Q1 2023 Natural Catastrophe Report. Public and private insurance entities covered at least an estimated US$22bn of that total, resulting in a 72% or US$55bn protection gap, the portion of the economic loss not covered by insurance.
The February earthquake sequence in Turkey and Syria accounted for an estimated US$45bn in physical damage costs with total insured losses anticipated to approach US$5bn – the largest industry loss for the Turkey market on record.
“The Turkey earthquake sequence was a difficult reminder of the significant vulnerabilities that exist to life and property from seismic events,” said Gallagher Re chief science officer Steve Bowen. “As the private and public sectors work together to develop a more resilient and adaptive society to current and future climate change risk, it is imperative that all natural hazard types, and not just weather or climate perils, are considered in the planning discussions.
“The high-dollar loss costs observed in Q1 2023, including those from notable thunderstorm and flood-related events, were marked by notable gaps in insurance coverage across both developed and emerging economic territories. This highlights the continued opportunity to develop tools and products that not only identify or quantify risk, but to make meaningful strides to ensure equitable protection for communities around the world.”