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Daily Insurance Industry News
Saturday 21st of July 2018
November 30, 2010

Swiss Re estimates the cost of 2010’s catastrophes and disasters

by Gill Montia

Story link: Swiss Re estimates the cost of 2010’s catastrophes and disasters

According to initial estimates from Swiss Re’s sigma team, worldwide economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters stood at $222 billion in 2010, more than triple the 2009 figure of $63 billion.

Approximately 260,000 people died in severe catastrophes (2009: 15,000) the highest number since 1976, and the cost to the global insurance industry stands at an estimated $36 billion, an increase of 34% over the previous year.

Natural catastrophes cost the global insurance industry roughly $31 billion in 2010, and man-made disasters triggered additional claims of approximately $5 billion.

Despite notably higher than average earthquake losses, overall claims were in line with the 20-year average, due to unusually modest US hurricane losses.

However, the estimate of $36 billion is subject to uncertainty due to, among other things, the ongoing European winter storm season.

In addition, the overall insurance loss is higher, as liability losses are not included in the sigma numbers.

Swiss Re’s chief economist, Thomas Hess, comments: “The humanitarian catastrophes again showed how important prevention and post-disaster management are for protecting the lives and health of people affected by natural hazards.”

He adds: “They also revealed large differences in how developed insurance systems are in the affected countries … while most of the costliest events caused by the earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand and the winter storm in Western Europe were covered by insurance, events like the earthquake in Haiti and floods in Asia were barely insured.”

 

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