Last year, a record number of natural catastrophes occurred despite global insured losses being well below the ten year average.
According to Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, although there were 189 catastrophes last year, the highest since sigma began recording, insured losses only amounted to $35 billion, compared with the ten year average of $64 billion. Global economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were around $110 billion in 2014.
According to Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, although there were 189 catastrophes last year, insured losses only amounted to $35 billion. Global economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were around $110 billion in 2014.
Of these total economic losses, $101 billion were due to natural catastrophes, with cyclones in Asia-Pacific causing the most damage.
Around $28 billion of the $35 billion of insured losses were attributed to natural catastrophe losses, with weather events in the US, Europe and Japan causing most insured losses.
"The frequency of catastrophic events appear to be increasing, with a record number of natural catastrophes last year," says Kurt Karl, Swiss Re's chief economist.
Severe thunderstorms have been on an upward trend over the last 25 years, mainly due to rising losses in the US where the frequency of storms (particularly tornadoes) and insurance penetration are highest, and in Europe where hail storms and flash flooding happen often.
The global insured losses from severe convective storms rose by an average annual rate of 9 percent in the period 1990 and 2014. Insured losses from all-weather events in the same period rose by 6.6 percent on the same basis.
In the US, insured losses from severe convective storms averaged $8 billion annually between 1990 and 2014. Since 2008, those losses have exceeded $ 10 billion every year, including in 2014 when insured losses were $13 billion, the fourth highest on sigma records.
Bermuda, Reinsurance, Swiss Re, Insurance, Kurt Karl