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Daily Insurance Industry News
Monday 23rd of April 2018
December 31, 2009

Natural catastrophe losses down to $22 billion

by Gill Montia

Story link: Natural catastrophe losses down to $22 billion

Munich Re has reported that 2009 saw 850 natural catastrophe events, resulting in insured losses of $22 billion.

Losses were far lower in 2009 than in 2008, due to a lower level of major catastrophes and a “very benign” North Atlantic hurricane season.

However, in 2009, the total number of destructive natural hazard events exceeded a ten-year average of 770 per annum.

The reinsurer therefore cautions: “We should make no mistake: despite the lack of severe hurricanes and other megacatastrophes, there was a large number of moderately severe natural catastrophes.”

In addition, Munich Re’s head of geo risks research, Professor Peter Höppe, highlights a trend towards increasing weather-related catastrophes, which accounted for 45% of global insured losses in 2009.

He states: “Initial analyses indicate that, apart from socio-economic factors, this is already due in part to climate change.”

Earlier this month, the group’s chief executive said he was “stunned” by the outcome of the recent Copenhagen climate change conference.

Nikolaus von Bomhard made it clear he was more than disappointed that the 2°C goal agreed with China and India at the G8 summit was merely recognised by delegates, with no pledges made, despite the need for action being “obvious”.

The chief executive also stated he was “baffled” that so little was achieved during the negotiations given that climate change is “a fact … and almost entirely made by man.”

According to data from Munich Re, weather-related natural catastrophes have produced $1,600 billion in total losses since 1980, and climate change is definitely a significant contributing factor.

 

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