Man-made Disasters and 2013

Just $6 billion of the $44 billion in estimated insured global losses arising from catastrophes in 2013 were generated by man-made disasters, little changed from 2012, according to Swiss Re sigma preliminary estimates.

But as an article on the Lloyd’s website reports, even though natural catastrophes may have dominated the news headlines in 2013, a series of man-made disasters have had a significant impact on a number of communities.

In fact around 5,000 lives were lost as a result of man-made disasters in 2013, according to Swiss Re sigma estimates.

Lloyd’s explains that with so many different parties potentially affected by man-made catastrophes, the claims scenarios for insurers can be complex, often involving property, first and third party liability losses.

Major man-made disasters in 2013 include the massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near the town of West, Texas, in April, which caused around $100 million in insured property losses, according to Lloyd’s.

Two rail disasters, one in Canada and the other in Spain, also made headlines in July.

On July 6, 2013, an unattended 74-car freight train carrying crude oil ran away and derailed in the town of Lac-Megantic, Canada, resulting in a fire and explosion that left as many as 50 people dead and destroyed half the downtown area.

Later that month, on July 24, 2013, a high speed train derailed outside the railway station of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, leaving around 140 injured and 79 dead.

Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on man-made disasters.

The September 11 terrorist attack in the U.S. was the costliest man-made disaster in history, based on Swiss Re data going back to 1970. It caused $24 billion in insured losses (in 2012 dollars).

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