’07 World Cat Loss Tally

The number and cost of natural and man-made disasters is increasing, according to Swiss Re, even though 2007 was not an exceptional year in terms of either fatalities or losses. Its latest annual sigma study found that economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes around the world exceeded $70 billion in 2007 ($22 billion more than in 2006). More than 20,000 people lost their lives in the 335 natural catastrophes and man-made disasters occurring in 2007. In the aftermath, property insurers paid out claims totaling $28 billion ($10.7 billion more than in 2006). In terms of insured property losses, Europe was the worst hit (contributing 45 percent to the world total), while losses in the U.S. were minor in comparison to previous years. Winter storm Kyrill caused insured losses of $6.1 billion across Germany, the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands when it struck in January 2007. Word of warning: Swiss Re says that natural catastrophe losses are rapidly on the rise, especially those related to storms and flooding. For example, it noted that insured flood losses have increased by 7 percent annually in real terms since 1970. Check out further I.I.I. information on flood insurance.  

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