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2020 a benign year for international cat losses: CRESTA

5th January 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

CRESTA, the re/insurance industry organisation that provides a standard global system of risk accumulation zones, has reported that 2020 represented a “very benign year” for major catastrophe losses outside of the US.

CRESTA’s industry loss index, CLIX, shows that five catastrophe events outside the US generated re/insurance industry losses in excess of $1 billion last year, with combined losses based totalling $7.1 billion.

This is well below the 20-year annual average of $16.7 billion for large-scale international catastrophe events, adjusted for asset growth and price developments.

The largest industry-loss event outside the US was Windstorm Sabine (aka Ciara), which affected the British Isles and Continental Europe between the 9th and 11th of February 2020.

This is followed by three events in Asia – the China Summer Floods, the Heavy Rain Event in Japan in July, and Typhoon Haishen in September, which affected Japan and Korea. Hailstorms in Australia in January completed the 2020 list.

Other significant events in 2020 included Hurricane Eta (Central America, November 2020), Typhoon Goni (Philippines, November 2020), the Queensland Hailstorm (Australia, October 2020), floods in Southern France and Northern Italy (October 2020), the Calgary Hailstorm (Canada, June 2020), and the Australian East Coast Low event (February 2020).

However, none of these events generated an industry loss in excess of $1 billion despite, in the cases of Hurricane Eta and Typhoon Goni, the massive economic losses caused in the affected regions.

The CLIX database stores key information for all major catastrophe events since 2000, excluding the US.

The loss list currently includes 161 major natural catastrophe events, 93 of which exceed the reporting threshold and represent a total industry loss value of more than $265 billion.

“Since the launch of CLIX last October, we have received extremely positive feedback from the insurance industry,” said Matthias Saenger, Technical Manager of CLIX.

“We spoke to insurers, reinsurers, ILS funds and intermediaries, and without exception everyone has welcomed the creation of an independent and well-structured source of major Cat industry losses,” Saengercontinued.

“It is great encouragement for the entire CRESTA CLIX team and we are committed to fulfilling the industry’s expectations by providing benchmark industry loss information guided by the principles of transparency and objectivity.”

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