Webinar: 2012 Natural Catastrophe Year In Review

On January 3 Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute hosted a webinar that provided an overview of 2012 natural catastrophes. Speakers included Ernst Rauch, head of Corporate Climate Center, Munich Re, who provided a global national catastrophe update; Carl Hedde, head of Risk Accumulation, Munich Re America, whose presentation offered a natural catastrophe update for the U.S.; Terese Rosenthal, Munich Re spokesperson; and Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, whose report focused on the economic implications of natural catastrophe losses. The webinar noted that insured losses in the United States in 2012 totaled $57.9 billion – far above the 2000 to 2011 average loss of $27 billion (in 2012 Dollars). Major events included Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey, becoming the worst storm to hit northeastern U.S. since the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, causing insured losses in excess of $25 billion. Despite a relatively quiet year for tornadoes, insured losses from thunderstorm events exceeded $14 billion, the second highest annual total on record. Globally, the number of catastrophe events was 900, well above the 10-year average from 2002 to 2011 of 800. Overall direct losses reached $160 billion, slightly below the 10-year average of $165 billion. Insured losses were $65 billion, making 2012 the third-costliest year for the insurance industry worldwide (after 2011 and 2005) and the second costliest year in US (after 2005). (Note: The Munich Re figures are based on property losses including, if applicable, agricultural, offshore, marine and aviation and National Flood Insurance Program losses.)

Dr. Hartwig's presentation is available below. A full recording of the webinar is available on the Munich Re website.


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