Extreme weather caused $65 billion in losses in first half of 2022

Extreme weather events linked to climate change caused about $65 billion in total losses in the first half of 2022, roughly half of which hit uninsured assets, according to data compiled by German reinusurer Munich Re.

Insured losses reached about $34 billion.

The half-year data for 2022 doesn’t include the full fallout from Europe’s heatwave, which fanned drought, wildfires and water shortages.

In Europe, extreme heat and arid conditions this summer have led to water scarcity and wildfires in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Floods in Australia were the costliest disaster for the finance industry in the first half, causing insured losses of $3.7 billion so far. Parts of Sydney had as much rain in four days as they’d normally see in eight months, Munich Re said. The water levels of some rivers were at their highest in over 100 years.

The U.S. accounted for almost half of overall losses in the first six months and nearly two-thirds of insured losses. A single thunderstorm front that produced tornadoes in early April destroyed assets worth more than $3 billion.