Swiss Re says insurers' catastrophe bill halves despite rise in deaths
LONDON Dec 18 (Reuters) - The cost to insurers of catastrophes almost halved to some $44 billion this year, despite a doubling in deaths caused by events such as Typhoon Haiyan, Swiss Re said on Wednesday.
Haiyan was the event causing the highest loss of life this year, resulting in the death of more than 7,000 from some of the strongest winds ever recorded when it struck the Philippines in November.
But Swiss Re noted the bill for insurers was likely to be low because few of those affected had cover.
The company said the total loss of life in 2013 from disasters rose to around 25,000 from 14,000 a year earlier. Yet the cost of damage dropped to $130 billion from $196 billion, while insured losses - the cost to insurers from claims - was estimated at $44 billion, down from $81 billion.
Events such as the flooding in eastern Europe during June - the second-most expensive fresh-water flood event on the insurer's records - caused most of the financial impact, particularly in terms of the insured loss.
Damage from the European floods is estimated to have reached $18 billion, with insured losses at around $4 billion.
Europe also experienced extreme weather events such as hailstorms which hit France and Germany in July and the storms and tidal surges which lashed northern Europe during November and December.
Floods in Alberta, Canada during June caused insured losses of around $2 billion, the insurer said.
- Malaysian plane may have flown hours after losing contact - WSJ |
- Missing jet may have strayed to west, Malaysia military says |
- Malaysia failing credibility test as flight confusion deepens
- UPDATE 1-U.S. investigators suspect missing Malaysian plane flew for hours -WSJ
- U.S. investigators suspect missing Malaysian plane flew for hours -WSJ