Insurance Industry Disaster Claims Fell to $45B in 2013

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which ran from June through November, was the first since 1994 with no major storms.

INN Breaking News, March 26, 2014

Carolyn Bandel

(Bloomberg) -- Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second- biggest reinsurer, said losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters fell 44 percent last year amid a quiet Atlantic hurricane season.

Insured losses fell to $45 billion from $81 billion in 2012, the Zurich-based reinsurer said in a statement today. The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which ran from June through November, was the first since 1994 with no major storms.

Insurers covered less than a third of the $140 billion in total economic losses that occurred last year. The industry faced claims from flooding, including $4.1 billion of losses in Europe in May and June and $1.9 billion in Canada. Hailstorms in Germany and France led to $3.8 billion of insured damages, the most ever from a hail event.

“Insurance is a powerful measure to strengthen resilience against catastrophe events,” Swiss Re said in a report published on its website. “The wide gap between economic and insured losses caused by natural disasters places a significant burden on the public sector.”

Hurricane Sandy, which struck in 2012, increased globally insured losses that year. The U.S. still had the most insured losses last year as a result of several tornado outbreaks.

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