At $78B, 2020 Insured CAT Losses 17% Above 10-Year Average

Catastrophe losses covered by insurance and reinsurance reached $78 billion in 2020 according to Willis Re, which the broker sees as 17% above the 10-year average.

The reinsurance broking arm of Willis Towers Watson (WTW) notes that the figure could have been much higher were it not for a number of near-misses throughout last year.

“The total does not reflect high levels of storm activity, because multiple hurricanes and tropical cyclones skirted major built-up areas last year,” Willis Re explained this morning.

In addition, the U.S. hurricane season in 2020, while busy and record-setting in terms of number of storms, did not deliver the insurance and reinsurance market impacts of other recent tropical storm seasons.

Instead, it was frequency and smaller events that drove a significant proportion of the insured catastrophe loss total in 2020. The $78 billion of insured losses from catastrophes and severe weather recorded by Willis Re sits 17% above the 10-year average of $65.5 billion, the broker said.

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