The risk we face from natural catastrophes (Nat Cat) is on the rise. That's because we live, build and work in locations most at risk from floods, storms, wildfires and extreme weather events. In cities or towns along the coast, on floodplains or near wildland – climate change is fuelling the risk in these areas, making weather-related disasters more likely and more severe.
Natural catastrophes led to over USD 175 billion of losses in 2020, according to Swiss Re Institute estimates. Most of the damage was caused by weather-related secondary perils such as wildfires and thunderstorms with tornadoes, floods and hail. Less than half of these losses – around USD 76 billion – were insured, exposing people and businesses to a large protection gap. Climate change and more extreme weather conditions are expected to exacerbate secondary peril events in the years to come.
How can we strengthen our resilience?