In terms of devastation wreaked, there were a number of large-scale disasters across the world in 2016, including earthquakes in Japan, Ecuador, Tanzania, Italy and New Zealand. There were also a number of severe floods in the US and across Europe and
Asia, and a record high number of weather events in the US. The strongest was Hurricane Matthew, which became the first Category 5 storm to form over the North Atlantic since 2007, and which caused the largest loss of life – more than 700 victims, mostly in Haiti – of a single event in the year. Another expansive, and expensive, disaster was the wildfire that spread through Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada from May to July.
According to the latest <i>sigma</i> study, global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2015 were USD 37 billion, well-below the USD 62 billion average of the previous 10 years. There were 353 disaster events last year. Of those, 198 were natural catastrophes, which is the highest number in one year, according to <i>sigma</i> records.Download
Underinsurance of property risks1 is a global challenge. Much of the protection gap is due to uninsured global natural catastrophe risk, which has been rising steadily over the past 40 years. Swiss Re’s sigma data show that total economic losses from natural disasters have averaged around USD 180 billion annually in the last decade,
with 70% (USD 127 billion, or USD 1.3 trillion in total over the 10 years) of that uninsured. Earthquakes, floods and windstorms are the main perils, particularly in areas of high population and property value concentrations.
The world's urban population is forecast to grow by about 1.4 billion to 5 billion between 2011 and 2030, with 90% of the increase coming in the emerging markets. Swiss Re's latest sigma study Urbanisation in emerging markets: boon and bane for insurers reviews the rapid growth of towns and cities in emerging markets. It also addresses the opportunities and challenges that urbanisation presents with respect to risk management for insurers and governments alike.Download