2015 Half-Year Natural Catastrophe Review

According to a new study by Munich Re, in the first half of 2015, natural catastrophes in North America caused overall losses of $12 billion, of which insurers bore $8 billion. Said President and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. Tony Kuczinski, “The costliest global natural catastrophe for the insurance industry in the first half of the year was a series of exceptionally cold and snowy winter storms that struck the Northeastern U.S. and Canada at the end of February, often leading to widespread power outages. Boston alone received almost 10 feet of snow over the winter months–an absolute record. The insured loss from the February storms was $1.8 billion, with total losses of $2.4 billion. The fact that, once again, tens of thousands of people were temporarily left without electricity shows that the U.S. simply must invest in stronger, more weather resilient, infrastructure.” Further, a series of severe weather events between April and June in the South resulted in losses of more than $1 billion, of which approximately $0.75 billion was insured. In the first six months severe weather events like these, in some cases accompanied by tornadoes or hail, caused losses of $6.5 billion, of which $4.8 billion was insured. Globally, natural catastrophes for the first half of 2015 were characterized by the earthquake in Nepal and by the heatwave that affected India and Pakistan.


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