2008 Nat Cat Review

Anyone who questions the impact natural catastrophes can have on insurers should take a look at Munich Re’s latest global catastrophe review. The report indicates that despite a drop in the number of loss-producing events in 2008 compared with 2007 (to 750 from 960), individual catastrophes pushed up the numbers of victims and losses appreciably. From insurers’ perspective two key takeaways from the report are: insured losses in 2008 rose to $45 billion, an increase of about 50 percent on 2007; and in terms of insured losses, Hurricane Ike was the most expensive individual event in 2008. On the latter event, Munich Re makes the point that as Ike progressed over the mainland, extreme precipitation caused more and more damage, resulting in an insured loss estimated at $15 billion (not including claims covered under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)). The number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic in 2008 was much higher than the long-term average and also higher than the average of the current warm phase since 1995, which is more pronounced as a result of climate change, Munich Re said. Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on global catastrophes.  

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