Frankfurt - Natural catastrophes around the world resulted in $210 billion in damage in 2020, with the United States especially hard hit by hurricanes and wildfires, a top insurer said. The damage, tallied by the German reinsurer Munich Re, increased from $166 billion in the previous year, and comes as a warming planet heightens risks. Losses that were insured rose to $82 billion from $57 billion in 2019, Munich Re said. They add to the burden of the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the insurance industry hard: "Climate change will play an increasing role in all of these hazards, - said Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek, pointing to hurricanes, wildfires and other storms. - It is time to act," he said.
The hurricane season was "hyperactive", with a record 30 storms, surpassing 2005's 28 storms, Munich Re said. Heat waves and droughts are fuelling wildfires, with $16 billion in damage last year in the U.S. West. Floods in China were the most costly individual loss at $17 billion, but only 2% of the damage was insured.