Man-Made Cats Above Average

Such is our focus on insured losses arising from natural catastrophes like hurricanes and tornadoes, it’s easy to skim over the losses arising from man-made catastrophes. A report from Guy Carpenter reminds us of their impact. It reports that man-made and technological catastrophes hit $7 billion in insured losses in 2008 – some 46 percent higher than the annual average of $4.8 billion, according to data from Swiss Re.  A total of 19 known events occurred in 11 countries resulting in insured losses of more than $50 million each. Nearly half of 2008’s man-made cat losses were caused by two events in Australia: an explosion and fire at an Apache Energy offshore gas plant ($1.8 billion) and BHP Billiton’s business interruption losses ($1.5 billion). Two events in the United States caused losses of more than $400 million each: an explosion at an Alon oil refinery ($525 million) and a fire at Universal Studios ($400 million-plus). The terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, could trigger insurance claims of up to $600 million, according to Guy Carpenter. Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on global catastrophes.

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