Bloomberg Intelligence has issued a warning that major solar storms could potentially cause more damage to insurers than a hurricane like Katrina, which cost $55 billion in 2005. These storms have the capacity to disrupt radio communications, power grids, spacecraft, and satellite navigation, making them a significant risk for the insurance and reinsurance industry.

The recent solar storm in May, which included strong solar flares and coronal mass ejections, serves as a reminder of the potential impact of these events. Such storms can cause magnetic disturbances on earth, affecting technology and infrastructure in near-earth orbit and on the planet’s surface. The effects of solar storms can impede communications, electric power grids, navigation, radio, and satellite operations.

Despite the relatively modest disruption caused by the May storm, experts warn that the potential for more severe events exists. The UK considers space storms a high-priority natural hazard, emphasizing the need for early warning systems and preventative measures. NASA is utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze spacecraft data and predict impending solar storms, providing crucial information to protect critical infrastructure.

The insurance and reinsurance industry has long recognized the threat posed by solar storms, with a study from 2016 showing potential losses of up to $334 billion from extreme space weather events. The recent geomagnetic storm event has reignited discussions within the industry about financial solutions to hedge against solar storm risks. While these events are rare, the increasing reliance on digital technology and satellites makes it crucial to consider financial protection against potential impacts.

As technology continues to advance, the ability to forecast and mitigate the impact of solar storms improves. With the potential for significant financial losses, insurers and reinsurers are likely to explore new ways to manage and transfer the risk associated with these events. By recognizing the importance of protecting assets against the unpredictable nature of solar storms, the industry can better prepare for potential disruptions and minimize financial losses in the future.