LONDON Dec 13 Insurers look set to absorb
natural catastrophe claims of over $100 billion in 2011, more
than double the total for 2010, making it the second most costly
natural disaster year on record, reinsurer Swiss Re
This year's natural catastrophe hit will still fall short of
the $123 billion picked up by the insurance industry in 2005,
when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans,
Martin Bisping, Swiss Re's head of non-life risk transformation,
told reporters at a briefing in London.
Swiss Re, the world's second-biggest reinsurer, is due to
publish detailed natural catastrophe loss estimates for 2011 on
Thursday, a spokesman for the company said.
This year's surge in catastrophe claims reflects a spate of
major natural disasters including the March 11 Japanese
earthquake and tsunami, tornadoes in the U.S., and heavy
flooding in Australia and Thailand.
The increase in claims has mopped up some of the insurance
industry's spare capital, relieving competitive pressure and
supporting insurance and reinsurance prices after several years
of declines, insurers and brokers have said.