Nat Cat Focus

Much has been made of the lack of megacatastrophes during 2007, but Munich Re’s annual natural catastrophe review is a reminder that size is not everything. In fact, the insurance industry had to cope with far higher natural catastrophe losses in 2007 than in 2006. Despite the absence of extreme events, Munich Re notes that overall economic losses had reached $75 billion by the end of December 2007 — a 50 percent increase on 2006. While the loss figures were well short of 2005’s record $220 billion, at just under $30 billion, insured losses were almost double those of 2006 ($15 billion). The number of natural catastrophes recorded in 2007 also increased to 950 (compared with 850 in 2006) — the highest figure since 1974 when Munich Re began logging records in its NatCatService database. The message from the reinsurer is don’t be misled by the absence of megacatastrophes in 2007 as these loss figures are in line with the continuing rising trend in natural catastrophes. Check out I.I.I. info on global catastrophes.  

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