Top 10 Global Economic Loss Events. List of natural disasters in 2022

At least five events topped the economic loss threshold of $10 billion. Hurricane Ian dominated the ranking with an aggregated toll of approximately $95.5 billion — more than the next seven events combined.

Global natural disasters in 2022 resulted in near-average economic losses totaling $313 billion. Half of those losses occurred in the United States and were driven by the devastating Hurricane Ian and multiple severe convective storm outbreaks.

According to AON Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight report, three global drought events were among the 10 costliest disasters, which underlines the growing significance of the peril on a global scale. These occurred in the United States, Europe and China.

Three drought events in the table of 10 costliest events underline the growing significance of the peril on a global scale. Particularly, cumulative drought losses in European countries were at their highest since the historic summer of 2003, while the U.S. had the worst drought since 2012 in terms of overall economic losses.

Top 10 Global Economic Loss Events

Top 10 Global Economic Loss Events. List of natural disasters in 2022
Data: Catastrophe Insight, Aon

Floods in Pakistan were the costliest event for the peril, tied with seasonal flood losses in China, which were at their lowest since 2015. All but one event in the table were weather- and climate-related; the only two geophysical disasters that topped $1 billion in economic losses in 2022 were the March Fukushima Earthquake in Japan and September Sichuan Earthquake in China.

Global insured losses from natural disasters in 2022 are estimated at $132 billion, well above the short-, medium- and long-term averages.

Top 10 2022 Global Insured Loss Events

Data: Catastrophe Insight, Aon

Approximately 42% of losses were covered by insurance. While the protection gap (58%) was the lowest on record, it remains a global challenge but also shows an opportunity to provide further protection.

Global economic losses from natural disasters in 2022 were close to the 21st century average ($301 billion) and median ($292 billion) on price-inflated basis and reached approximately $313 billion. They were 6% and 4% lower based on the average and median, respectively, of the last decade.

Focusing on weather-related disasters only, total losses in 2022 were roughly 17% above the average since 2000, yet still lower than the short-term mean and median statistics and reached approximately a half of losses in the record year of 2017.

Nataly Kramer    by Nataly Kramer