Gallagher Re Natural Catastrophe Report: First Half 2023

New Gallagher Re report summarizes preliminary global loss totals and major catastrophe events that occurred during the first half of the year

Rolling Meadows, IL (July 24, 2023) – Gallagher Re is pleased to announce the release of its H1 2023 Natural Catastrophe Report: Preliminary Overview, which sees US thunderstorms and global impacts from El Niño’s arrival drive above-average natural catastrophe insured losses through the first half of the year.

The first six months of 2023 featured above average natural catastrophe losses as both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared the official arrival of El Niño. The severe convective storm (SCS) peril was highly dominant for the insurance industry, with the bulk of these losses occurring in the US. For all perils, the US accounted for 76% of global insured losses. Other parts of the world experienced significant natural hazard activity, detailed in the full report.

In Canada, out-of-control wildfires became one of the notable statistics of H1 2023 globally, with more than 3,500 fires burning more than 8.2 million hectares – most land area burned since at least 1959.

Readers of this report can expect to:

  • Explore the influence of El Niño on weather and climate events
  • Review major events and overall financial loss perspective through the first half of the year
  • Better understand the state of the insurance market as the peak of tropical cyclone season approaches

Access the full report here.

Preliminary H1 Global Loss Totals: Economic (USD138 billion) and Insured (USD52 billion) show continued growth

The first six months of 2023 featured above average natural catastrophe losses as NOAA declared the official arrival of El Niño1 which was poised to bring further influence on global weather/ climate events through the end of the year. Total direct economic losses from natural hazards were preliminarily estimated at USD138B. The cost covered by private insurance or public insurance entities tallied USD52B. This marked a protection gap of 63% (USD86B). The H1 totals for solely weather/climate events (excluding earthquakes or other non-atmospheric-driven perils) were USD92B (economic) and USD46B (insured). These totals, which may be rounded in some cases, are subject to change as loss development occurs and new data is obtained in the weeks and months ahead.

The severe convective storm (SCS) peril was highly dominant for the insurance industry in H1 2023. A very active multi-month pattern spawned a prolific series of outbreaks across the US that led to a minimum of USD34B in insured losses. This represented 65% of all global H1 insured losses. At least 812 confirmed tornadoes touched down, though hail was the dominant damage cost driver with NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) recording at least 729 individual instances of hail larger than 2.0 inches (5.1 centimeters) in diameter striking US communities. For all perils, the US accounted for 76% of global insured losses; but just 38% of global economic losses. Thunderstorms in Europe during June brought a billion-dollar insurance bill to parts of Germany and France.

Other parts of the world also experienced significant natural hazard activity. The confirmed death toll from the February sequence of historic earthquakes in Turkey and subsequent impacts in Syria rose above 59,250 as the insured cost topped USD5B. New Zealand continued to count the cost of its two costliest weather events on record—that occurred in a matter of weeks’ time in January and February—which led to at least USD2.3B in combined insured losses. Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region saw record-setting rainfall in May that left a minimum direct economic toll of USD9.7B. Anomalously warm conditions fueled by an influence from the transition to El Niño and the influence of climate change aided in the ignition of catastrophic wildfires in Canada, amplified severe drought conditions in South America, Europe, and Asia, and heatwaves left hundreds of people dead in parts of North America and Asia. Heavy precipitation from the seasonal monsoon and the remnants of Cyclone Freddy left more than 2,500 people dead in Africa.

Access the full report here.

About Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The company has operations in 68 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

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