Aon: Record $50bn U.S. Severe Convective Storm Losses Drive Total Natural Catastrophe Toll in 2023

Global SCS caused 70% of insured cat loss in first nine months

San Juan, Puerto Rico (Oct. 19, 2023) – Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, has launched its Q3 Global Catastrophe Recap report, which analyses natural hazard activity worldwide in the third quarter of 2023 and for the first nine months of the year, to help clients navigate volatility, build resilience and make better decisions.

The report reveals that global insured losses from natural disaster events had reached $88 billion by the end of Q3 2023 – 17% higher than the 21st century annual average, and driven by notable Q3 events such as U.S. and Italian severe convective storms (SCS), and the Maui wildfire – one of the deadliest and costliest wildfires in U.S. history. Year-to-date economic losses totalled $295 billion, compared to a 21st century annual average of $310 billion.

The aggregated death toll from 2023 natural catastrophe events had breached 75,000 during the same period, making 2023 the deadliest year since 2010.

In Q3 alone, there were at least four individual billion-dollar insured loss events for SCS in the U.S., which will likely increase to seven events due to continued loss development. For the first time, insured losses from SCS in the U.S. surpassed $50 billion and accounted for 60% of global insured losses. The peril also resonated in Europe, which endured two individual billion-dollar SCS events, including Italy recording its first billion-dollar SCS insurance loss.

Other notable natural hazard events that took place during Q3 2023 included:

  • Widespread flooding in Beijing and several Chinese provinces in early August resulted in the costliest global economic loss event of Q3.
  • On September 8, a magnitude-6.8 earthquake occurred in the Moroccan High Atlas Mountain range, claiming nearly 3,000 lives, injuring more than 5,600 people, and causing significant material damage across the affected area.
  • The destructive flash flooding in northeastern Libya in early September damaged thousands of buildings in Derna city and ranked as the second deadliest event of the year, with more than 4,300 fatalities.
  • Hurricane losses in the U.S. were lower than average in Q3, which is considered the peak of the Pacific and Atlantic hurricane seasons. Two notable tropical systems, Hilary and Idalia, still caused significant losses that, collectively, reached into billions of USD.

Michal Lorinc, head of Aon’s Catastrophe Insight, said: “Global natural catastrophes killed many people and caused significant structural and economic damage during the first nine months of 2023. Wildfire and Severe Convective Storm were once again highly prominent, and Aon’s research reveals that both are becoming increasingly costly to insurers, communities and governments. In the U.S., around 80% of SCS loss growth can be explained by exposure change – highlighting the need for insurers to understand underlying exposures in their portfolios.”

Aon’s research about the drivers of severe convective storm (SCS) insured losses is available here. For further information on SCS, and the forthcoming Jan. 1 reinsurance renewals, please see Aon’s Ultimate Guide to the Reinsurance Renewal, available at

For more information about Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions, please visit

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SOURCE: Aon plc

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