Global economy losses $37 bn from calamities in H12015: SwissRe

By: |
Published: August 11, 2015 9:46:38 PM

Total economic loss from natural calamities and man-made disasters across the world, including Nepal earthquake and heatwave in India, was at USD 37 billion in the first half of 2015, says a report.

Total economic loss from natural calamities and man-made disasters across the world, including Nepal earthquake and heatwave in India, was at USD 37 billion in the first half of 2015, says a report.

“According to estimates, economic losses from both natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached USD 37 billion in the first half of 2015,” Swiss Re said in a report.

The global insurance industry covered nearly 45 per cent of these losses, which is higher than the previous 10-year average cover of 27 per cent, it added.

Swiss Re is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer.

The report further said around 18,000 people lost their lives due to disasters during first half of 2015, up from more than 4,800 in the first half of last year.

The earthquakes in Nepal and a heatwave in India and Pakistan claimed the highest number of victims, it added.

Natural catastrophes caused total economic losses of USD 33 billion in the first half of the year, well below the USD 54 billion in H1 2014 and also the average first-half year loss over the previous 10 years (USD 99 billion).

Of the overall insured losses, USD 12.9 billion came from natural disasters, down from nearly USD 20 billion in H1 2014 and again below the average first-half year loss of the previous 10 years (USD 25 billion), it said.

The costliest natural catastrophes for the insurance industry resulted from severe winter weather and thunderstorms in the US and Europe.

In February, a winter storm in the northeastern US caused insurance losses of USD 1.8 billion, the highest loss of any event so far this year.

Man-made disasters, meanwhile, triggered an additional USD 3.6 billion in overall insurance losses in H1 2015, it pointed out.

“The tragic events in Nepal are a reminder of the utility of insurance. Insurance cover does not lessen the emotional trauma that natural catastrophes inflict, but it can help people better manage the financial fallout from disasters so they can start to rebuild their lives,” Swiss Re Chief Economist Kurt Karl said.

There were more than 9,000 fatalities in the earthquakes that struck Nepal in close succession in April and May, the largest loss of life due to any natural catastrophes so far this year.

The quakes also left many people homeless causing an economic loss of more than USD 5 billion in Nepal.

Of those, only around USD 160 million were insured losses, it pointed out.

In the same region, India and Pakistan were hit by a severe heat wave in May and June.

The soaring temperatures, the highest recorded since 1995, estimated to have claimed more than 2,500 lives in India and 1,500 in Pakistan, it said.

Do you know What is ? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.