Every year natural and man-made catastrophes cause a distressing loss of lives and considerable economic costs around the world. Both industrialised and developing countries are affected. Surprisingly, both are also materially underinsured.
This financing gap is borne largely by the public sector, and may create long-term fiscal instability at a time when government budgets are stretched. Furthermore rating agencies are starting to take a closer look at such contingent liabilities faced by public administrations.
Mexico has been hit by no less than seven major catastrophes since 1985. In 2005 Hurricane Wilma caused total economic damages of over USD 22 billion ‒ more than USD 8 billion of which were uninsured. Small wonder that the federal government has been an innovator in disaster risk management.
FONDEN ´excess of loss´ reinsurance structure
Declared natural disaster (eg flood, hurricane, earthquake)
Some of the world’s worst flooding takes place in Bangladesh. Prolonged and heavy rainfall creates floods that destroy lives, crush homes and wash away crops. Affected families often have to cope by taking out expensive loans or selling essential assets.
Flood insurance for non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Pre-defined cash relief
Since 1980, nine countries in Central America and the Caribbean have had at least half of their annual gross domestic product (GDP) wiped out by a natural catastrophe. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti had an estimated impact of 120% of GDP.
Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC)
Tropical cyclone, earthquake, excess rainfall
This report examines flood exposure across different regions in Argentina and estimates economic loss and damage potential. It further looks at the financing gaps and differing perceptions in the flood insurance market across different sectors, including households and homeowners, industry and small commercial insurance, motor insurance and the agricultural sector. Finally, the report outlines a multi-stakeholder approach to building flood risk management and outlines the role of insurance in managing risk.
- Total economic losses from disaster events in H1 2016 rise by 38% to USD 71 billion, primarily due to natural catastrophe
- Insured losses from both natural and man-made catastrophes rise by 51% to USD 31 billion in H1 2016
- Earthquakes in Japan, thunderstorms in the US and Europe, and wildfires in Canada cause largest insured losses
- As many as 6 000 lives lost in disaster events in H1 2016, compared to 12 000 in the same period of the previous year
Preliminary sigma estimates show total economic losses from natural catastrophes and …
Global insured losses from disasters reach USD 37 billion in 2015; Tianjin explosions cause biggest insured loss, Swiss Re sigma study says
30 MARCH 2016, ZURICH
Global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 37 billion in 2015, below the USD 62 billion annual average of the last 10 years
This only covered about 40% of total global economic losses
In 2013, there were 308 disaster events, of which 150 were natural catastrophes and 158 man-made. Almost 26 000 people lost their lives or went missing in the disasters.
- Total economic losses from disasters reached USD 130 billion in 2013 worldwide
- Insured global losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters totalled USD 44 billion, with flooding a major driver
The world's sprawling cities are centres of economic activity and growth. But when a natural disaster hits a densely populated area, the effects can be catastrophic. A new Swiss Re study looks at the human and economic risks faced by urban communities around the globe.
19 December 2012, Zurich
- Swiss Re flood publication finds that insured flood losses have increased from USD 1–2 billion in 1970 to USD 15 billion in 2011
- Industry facing challenges in maintaining insurability for floods
- Global manufacturing hubs revealed as potential hot spots for flood losses
- Swiss Re launches flood app with interactive content on flood risks
Maharashtra is India’s largest area of drought-prone agricultural land. It is also the country’s second most populous state. As such, the region presented an ideal location for an in-depth study of the potential negative consequences of drought up to the year 2030, including the definition of effective measures to either avoid or mitigate these. For many inhabitants, the crippling droughts of 2000 to 2004 are very recent and frightening memories. These caused terrible hardship for the two thirds of the population dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.
17 January 2012, Zurich
Much of the world is still vastly underinsured against earthquake risk, study finds - Underinsurance often due to low risk awareness in earthquake-prone areas - Earthquake models should consider secondary-loss factors more comprehensively
According to initial estimates from Swiss Re's sigma team, worldwide economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 222 billion in 2010, more than triple the 2009 figure of USD 63 billion. The cost to the global insurance industry was USD 36 billion, an increase of 34% over the previous year. Approximately 260 000 people died in these events, the highest number since 1976.
In 2010, severe catastrophes claimed significantly more lives than the previous year: nearly 260 000 were killed, compared to 15 000 in 2009.
Reporting on developments and relevant issues
concerning catastrophe insurance in the year 2002, this document contains
information on the following:
- Summary of events and trends
- Catastrophes in 2002
- Floods - a growing challenge
- Tables for reporting year 2002
- Tables on the major losses 1970 - 2002
The information is based on newspapers, direct insurance and reinsurance periodicals, specialist publications, and reports from insurers and reinsurers.
19 000 people world wide were killed by natural and man-made catastrophes in 2002, according to a preliminary estimate from Swiss Re's sigma report. Beyond the human cost, financial losses from major events are estimated at USD 40 billion, of which the insurance industry is liable for around USD 12 billion. After the extraordinary losses of 2001, financial losses resulting from catastrophes returned to more average levels in 2002. However, as the European floods show, large losses remain a real threat.
Swiss Re's latest sigma study reports man-made and natural catastrophes claimed more than 33 000 lives worldwide in 2001. At USD 34.4 billion, the burden on property insurance due to catastrophe losses was extremely high - with an estimated USD 19 billion incurred by property and business interruption losses arising from the 11 September event. Furthermore, the insurance industry is having to cover liability and life insurance losses related to the attack which are estimated between USD 16.5 and 39 billion.