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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Catastrophe losses exceed %2470bn in 2007

Catastrophe-related economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes around the world exceeded $70bn in 2007, according to Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, Natural Catastrophes and Manmade Disasters, and property insurers were hit by claims totalling $28bn.

Although 2007 was not an exceptional year in terms of either fatalities or losses, statistics confirm a trend towards an increase in the number — and cost — of natural catastrophes and manmade disasters.

A total of 142 natural catastrophes and 193 man-made disasters occurred in 2007, which cost more than 20 000 people their lives.

Rudolf Enz, one of the authors of the study, stated: “Catastrophes claimed the most lives in Bangladesh, India, China and Pakistan in 2007. In terms of insured property losses, Europe was the worst hit last year. However, losses in the US, which are usually at the top of the loss tables, were minor in comparison to previous years.”

The sigma survey can be downloaded from www.swissre.com