Devastating weather catastrophes led to more than half a trillion pounds worth of economic losses in the last two years, making 2017 and 2018 the costliest back-to-back years on record.
A series of devastating storms, including Hurricane Michael in the US, Typhoon Jebi in Japan and Typhoon Rumbia in China, helped drive economic losses solely due to weather events in 2017 and 2018 to $653bn (£506bn) and insured losses across all risks to $237bn, research from insurer Aon showed.
In the UK Storm Callum, which battered Wales in October, led to hundreds of claims worth tens of millions of pounds.
The most costly insured loss disaster in 2018 was the Camp Fire in California at $12bn, which was also California’s deadliest and destructive fire on record, destroying 18,804 structures including most of the city of Paradise.
Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist at Aon’s impact forecasting team, said: “The complex combination of socioeconomics, shifts in population and exposure into vulnerable locations, plus a changing climate contributing to more volatile weather patterns, is forcing new conversations to sufficiently handle the need for mitigation and resilience measures. Natural disasters are always going to occur. How well we prepare can and will play a key role in future event losses.”
Torrential rain in Japan during July led to catastrophic flooding across much of the country with total damage close to $10bn.
During the summer monsoon Indian state Kerala was hit by a multi-billion dollar flood.