Indicator: A-06 Extreme weather-related effects - cost of weather-related disasters

Data

Cost of Extreme Weather Related Events

Cost of Extreme Weather Related Events

Source: adapted from Insurance Disaster Response Organisation's Major Disaster Event List since June 1967.

What the data mean

The total cost of weather-related disasters to the insurance industry over the period 1985 to 2004 was in excess of $6 billion (2004 dollars). The most costly in financial terms of these weather-related disasters were hailstorms at a cost of $3.6 billion. Over half of the costs of hailstorms can be attributed to the Sydney hailstorms of April 1999. Other storms accounted for $1.3 billion.

The data shows an increase in cost in real terms over the period. The cost of weather-related disasters for the last ten-year period (1995-2004) was over three times that of the ten-year period (1985-1994). If we exclude the 1999 hailstorms, the cost of weather-related disasters for the latter ten-year period was still 50 percent higher.

Data Limitations

The data only includes events declared a disaster by an appropriate government authority. The data does not necessarily include costs borne by individuals.

Issues for which this is an indicator and why

Atmosphere - Climate variability and change - Weather 

This indicator indicates the direct costs of cyclones, hailstorms, storms, flooding and bushfire to the Australian economy. This is a proxy indicator for the severity and frequency of weather-related disasters.

Other indicators for this issue:

Further Information