Swiss Re: Frequency and Severity of Strikes, Riots and Civil Commotion Losses on the Rise

A new report shows a dramatic increase in strikes, riots and civil commotion in the past two decades from 2000 to 2020.

There has been a 3000% increase in SRCC events in the 20-year period, according to a report released this week by Swiss Re. In recent times, large scale SRCC events have also accumulated to the extent that SRCC has become a prominent risk topic.

“From the French riots in 2023 to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and the Chilean riots a few years prior, we have seen a massive escalation in SRCC events, resulting in significant loss spikes,” the report states. “However, it’s not just the severity of SRCC events that has increased, but also the frequency.”

More than 132 countries have experienced protests since 2017, with 23% of those events lasting more than three months, according to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Global Protest Tracker.

Insured loss estimates from recent riots include: the France riots in 2023 (EU 730 million); the South Africa riots in 2021 (ZAR37 billion); the U.S. riots in 2020 ($2 billion).

“Reflecting on the growing frequency of events, populist and anti-establishment movements have triggered a rise in polarisation among populations and a greater willingness to protest,” the report states. “We’ve witnessed how the resurgence of activism around key global issues such as the environment and diversity, equity, and inclusion have sparked riots and unrest around the world, while political grievances spanning everything from poor public services to corruption and authoritarianism are snowballing more rapidly than ever before.”

Top photo: FILE – A demonstrator runs on the third night of protests sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old driver in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, France, Friday, June 30, 2023. A police officer in France being investigated in the killing in June of a 17-year-old of North African origin that touched off riots has been freed from jail while the investigation continues, it was announced Wednesday, Nov. 15. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File).