As per the CRESTA Industry Loss Index (CLIX), which provides data on non-US cat events that have generated industry losses above $1bn, the international loss tally for 2023 amounted to $16.7bn, marginally below the annual average of $17.1bn for the last 23 years.
According to CRESTA, there were 7 non-US events with industry losses exceeding $1bn in 2023, chief among these being the Kahramanmaras Earthquake Sequence in Turkey on 6 February, which generated an industry loss of $5.8bn.
CRESTA observed that this was the largest ever cat loss for Turkey’s insurance market.
Elsewhere, the severe convective storms that hit Northern Italy from 19-25 July are estimated to have generated an industry loss of $2.7bn. This was also a record-breaking figure for the Italian insurance market.
Meanwhile, New Zealand experienced two record-breaking weather events in early 2023 with a combined industry loss of $2.7bn.
Tropical cyclone losses in 2023 were dominated by Hurricane Otis in Mexico in October, also a record loss event for the country on an original loss-cost basis, and the floods in Beijing and surrounding areas following Typhoon Doksuri in early August.
Matthias Saenger, Manager at CRESTA CLIX, commented, “While from a global perspective, international cat losses in 2023 were slightly below the long-term average, several countries experienced record-breaking events, namely Turkey, Italy, New Zealand and Mexico.
“This situation effectively illustrates the value proposition of global reinsurance: extraordinary or even record-breaking cat losses on a national market level can represent quite “normal” loss levels in a globally diversified reinsurance portfolio. This scenario was the case in 2023 and explains why this year’s cat losses were managed so robustly.”
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