28 August 2014

Benign H1 losses: Swiss Re

Insured losses from disasters in the first half of 2014 were much lower than the 10 year average, according to Swiss Re’s latest report.

According to preliminary sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached $44 billion. The insurance industry covered $21 billion of these losses, down from $25 billion in the first half of 2013 and much lower than the average loss of the previous 10 years of $27 billion.

Extreme weather conditions early in the year, particularly in the US and Japan, made significant contributions to the insured losses from natural catastrophes. Japan’s heavy snowstorms, leading to property damage-related insurance claims currently estimated to be around $2.5 billion.

In mid-May, a spate of severe storms bringing large hail stones hit many parts of the US over a five-day period, generating insured losses of $2.6 billion. Harsh spring weather triggered thunderstorms and tornadoes, some of which caused insured claims of above $1 billion.

Western Europe also suffered through a second successive year of intense storm activity in 2014.

“Once again floods took lives and inflicted extensive property damage in several regions of the world in the first half of 2014. For example, in May heavy flooding in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and other eastern European countries resulted in total economic losses of $4.5 billion. However, with low insurance penetration, the associated insured losses were moderate,” said Swiss Re.

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