Natural disasters have cost $37 billion to insurance companies in 2009: Munich Re



The world’s biggest reinsurer Munich Re said global natural calamities have cost insurance companies $37 billion in 2010, a jump of 68% over the previous year.

Overall losses due to catastrophes have more than doubled to $130 billion in 2010 compared to a year earlier. Losses to insurance companies were recorded at $22 billion in 2009 and last year’s losses exceeded average loss of $35 billion recorded over the past 10 years.

In a statement issued by the reinsurance company, Torsten Jeworrek – Head of Munich Re said: “2010 showed the major risks we have to cope with. There were a number of severe earthquakes. The hurricane season was also eventful, it was just fortunate that the tracks of most of the storms remained over the open sea.”

90 percent of the disasters were related to weather, the Munich based company said; adding that number of natural catastrophes increased to 950 from 900 – recorded a year earlier. The heat-wave in Russia, the earthquakes in Central China, Haiti and Chile and the floods in Pakistan were all “great natural catastrophes”, as per United Nations parameters, the reinsurer said.

“These accounted for the major share of fatalities in 2010, around 295,000; and just under half the overall losses caused by natural catastrophes”, he added.

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