Insurance protection gap

29th September 2017


The frequency of severe weather events is increasing, and, with almost 50% of economic losses sustained by natural disasters unprotected last year in the US, the country’s recent hurricanes have bought the insurance protection gap under the spotlight.

Estimates by AIR Worldwide suggest the insured losses incurred by Hurricane Irma could be as high as $32bn-$50bn, while the exposure value along the gulf coast up to Tampa is estimated at $1trn. The industry is still assessing the final bill of Hurricane Harvey, which could be $70bn, according to the chief executive of Hiscox, compared with the $82bn of insured losses Hurricane Katrina inflicted in 2005.

“Hurricane Harvey had devastating consequences, and many losses are uninsured, leaving the government, and therefore taxpayers, to pick up most of the bill,” Eric Andersen, CEO at reinsurance firm Aon Benfield, said. “The frequency of severe weather-related losses is increasing, and there needs to be a significant step-up in the efforts made to address the protection gap evident globally.”

Irma

Strength: Category 5 storm, winds up to 160mph Death toll: US: to date 36, Caribbean: to date 38, but expected to rise.

Destruction: Quarter of houses in Florida Keys said to be destroyed, with half the population without power. Caribbean islands reporting up to 90% of structures damaged, with thousands left homeless.

Harvey

Strength: Category 4 storm, winds up to 155mph Death toll: 82 Destruction: Approximately 94,000 homes damaged, around one million cars wrecked, and an estimated 450,000 people in need of emergency assistance.

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close