Thursday, July 30, 2009

Disaster insurance losses close to $11 billion in first half of '09

BERLIN — Natural disasters and severe weather caused insurers above-average losses of $11 billion in the first half of this year, with a winter storm in southwestern Europe and tornadoes in the U.S. incurring heavy costs, a leading reinsurer said Monday.

Munich Re AG said the costs between January and June were "somewhat above the average for the same period in the past 10 years" of about $10 billion.

Total economic losses, including losses not covered by insurance, were $25 billion, far below the average of $42 billion, Munich Re said. The number of people killed in natural disasters was 3,000 — compared with a 10-year average for the January-June period of 24,000.

However, many of this year's disasters so far hit relatively well-insured areas.

The most expensive single event was a winter storm which hit northeastern Spain and southwestern France in late January and caused insured losses of $2.3 billion, Munich Re said. Total economic losses were $3.8 billion.

Click here for the complete article in USA Today.

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