Insurance industry figures on 2013 natural and human-caused disasters

Repost from Business Insurance
[Editor’s note: The text here lumps together losses from natural catastrophes and “man-made” disasters.  But the link at the end of this story downloads a PDF that shows detailed information about oil and rail disasters. – RS]

Catastrophes caused global insured losses of $45B in 2013: Swiss Re

Sarah Veysey
March 26, 2014

Global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters totaled about $45 billion in 2013, down from about $81 billion a year earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by Swiss Re Ltd.

Economic losses from natural and man-made disasters were about $140 billion in 2013, down from $196 billion in 2012, according to the Swiss Re sigma report.

The most costly insured event in 2013 was flooding in parts of central and eastern Europe during May that caused insured losses of about $4.1 billion, according to the study.

Hailstorms in France and Germany in July caused insured losses of about $3.8 billion, the report showed, while floods in Canada in June resulted in insured losses of about $1.9 billion.

In the United States, thunderstorms and tornadoes in May caused insured losses of $1.8 billion, while severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail later that same month caused insured losses of $1.4 billion. A winter storm bringing ice, tornadoes and heavy rain in April resulted in insured losses of $1.2 billion.

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November, left about 7,500 people dead or missing, and caused insured losses of about $1.5 billion, according to the report.

Windstorm Christian, which hit parts of northern and central Europe in October, caused insured losses of about $1.5 billion, according to Swiss Re, while Typhoon Fitow in China and Japan in September caused insured losses of about $1.1 billion.

“Risk prevention and mitigation measures have progressed in recent years,” Swiss Re said in a statement.

“For instance, the losses from the floods in central and eastern Europe last year would have been much worse had the flood protection measures not been strengthened after the same region suffered severe flooding in 2002,” it said.

The study can be found here: Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2013 sigma1_2014_en.PDF.

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