Swiss Re Reports on Catastrophe Losses

As the United States braces for another drought in the coming months, Swiss Re reports that record heat and extremely dry weather conditions in the United States in 2012 led to one of the worst droughts in recent decades and the highest ever recorded loss in agriculture insurance.

Thomas Holzheu, Swiss Re’s Chief Economist in the U.S., says:

Severe crop failures in the U.S. Corn Belt resulted in insured agricultural losses of $11 billion. This makes the 2012 drought the highest ever recorded loss in agriculture insurance history.†

Swiss Re’s latest sigma study reveals that worldwide natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2012 caused insured losses of $77 billion – making 2012 the third most costly catastrophe year on record. Still, this is significantly lower than 2011 when record earthquakes and flooding in Asia Pacific caused insured losses of over $126 billion, the highest ever recorded.

Overall economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2012 reached $186 billion, with approximately 14,000 lives lost.

Hurricane Sandy was the most costly event for the year, causing $70 billion in economic losses and $35 billion in insured losses (of which $20 billion to $25 billion was covered by private insurers and the remainder by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)).

In fact, nine of the 10 most expensive insured loss events happened in the U.S. in 2012. Fortunately, the high insurance penetration in North America meant that $65 billion – over half of the $119 billion in economic losses in the region – were covered by insurance.

Check out I.I.I. facts+stats on global catastrophes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *