The number of economic losses due to natural disasters in the first half of 2023 was slightly lower compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 118,000 million dollars in contrast to 123,000 million dollars registered in 2022. However, the Damages covered by insurance companies increased, reaching $50 billion in the first six months of 2023 compared to $48 billion a year earlier.
The most onerous catastrophe in terms of economic losses was the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey in early February, killing more than 50,000 people. Initial World Bank estimates suggest economic losses due to this event amounted to $34 billion, while insurers faced costs of about $5.3 billion, according to Swiss Re, which provides insurance to the insurers themselves.
The increase in bills for insurance companies is mainly attributed to storms and associated weather events such as hail, heavy rain, wind, and sudden changes in temperature. These events represented about 70% of the damages that insurers had to cover, generating a total bill of 35,000 million dollars.
In particular, the United States experienced $34 billion worth of insured losses, and storms were responsible for this figure. During the first semester, ten storms were identified that caused damages greater than 1,000 million dollars each, with the state of Texas being the most affected by these adversities.