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Daily Insurance Industry News
Tuesday 17th of July 2018
March 29, 2011

2010 cat losses cost global insurers $43bn

by Gill Montia

Story link: 2010 cat losses cost global insurers $43bn

According to Swiss Re’s latest “sigma” study, worldwide economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters stood at $218 billion in 2010, more than triple the 2009 figure.

The cost to the global insurance industry amounted to over $43 billion, an increase of more than 60% over the previous year.

Natural catastrophes cost the industry roughly $40 billion, while man-made disasters triggered additional claims of more than $3 billion.

Earthquake losses accounted for almost one-third of all catastrophe losses in 2010, with the February earthquake in Chile and the September earthquake in New Zealand the two costliest events.

However, overall natural catastrophe claims in 2010 were in line with the 10-year average due to unusually modest US hurricane losses.

Commenting on the study, co-author Balz Grollimund says: “Although no long-term trend of increasing global earthquake activity has emerged, the number of fatalities and insured losses from earthquakes are on the rise.”

He adds: “The main reasons are population growth, the higher number of people living in urban areas as well as rising wealth and rapidly increasing exposures.”

According to Swiss Re chief economist, Thomas Hess, 2010 was not only characterised by severe earthquakes but also by a series of extreme weather events, such as major floods.

Mr Hess argues: “These events show the urgent need to strongly improve prevention and post disaster management … the rapidly increasing wealth in emerging markets should also be used to address these problems.”

 

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