2023 Cat Review Unraveling the Unusual


Key takeaways

In the wake of a series of noteworthy cat years, the re/insurance industry held its collective breath as 2023 unfolded. Although the year resembled its predecessors in many aspects, the manner in which losses accrued presented a distinct narrative. While the US continued its streak of major hurricane landfalls, a near miss in Tampa alleviated potential losses. Instead, the East Pacific took center stage, unleashing a barrage of powerful hurricanes. Severe weather wreaked havoc from Dallas, Texas, to Veneto, Italy, with a notable impact on reinsurers globally. Let us delve into the specifics of the global cat activity in 2023 by peril.

Total Insured Nat-Cat Losses by event size

Global cats with at least $1B USD loss
Unique severe and winter storm events in the US
Magnitude of the strongest rupture from the Turkey Kahramanmaras event

A new normal, or unprecedented times?

Re/Insurance Sector Adapts to Unprecedented Challenges Amidst Increasingly Frequent Natural Catastrophe Events

As the re/insurance industry grapples with the evolving landscape of natural catastrophes, 2023 proved to be a year of unique challenges. The escalating frequency of significant and seemingly unusual events prompts reflection on what constitutes normality in the face of mounting uncertainty.

The year unfolded against a backdrop of intensified natural catastrophe events worldwide. While the United States experienced its familiar pattern of major hurricane landfalls, being the 5th most active hurricane season since 1950, a noticeable shift occurred. There was a decrease in major events exceeding $5 billion USD. Instead, 2023 was characterized by a surge in smaller and mid-sized natural catastrophe occurrences, challenging the industry’s traditional notions of risk assessment and management. 

Navigating the New Normal

The recent increase in natural catastrophe events has led many to ponder what is considered normal in today’s world. Are these occurrences part of a new normal, or have they always been present, just less noticed? In 2023, global losses were in line with the five-year average, but the pattern of disasters took an unexpected turn. Instead of a few major events with losses exceeding $5 billion USD, there was a rise in smaller and mid-sized catastrophes. This shift challenges our traditional understanding of disaster risk.

In an era where the world is more interconnected than ever before, the importance of reliable partnerships is clear. Insurers need allies like Howden Tiger to navigate through uncertain times. Our knowledge, support and expertise make us a valuable asset in facing these challenges head-on.

As we adapt to this changing landscape, collaboration and expert advice are vital to better prepare for and respond to future catastrophe events. It’s essential to remain proactive in identifying emerging risks and developing effective mitigation strategies.

For further information or enquiries, please contact our team.

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