Insurance losses from global catastrophes stood at $21bn in the first six months of this year, around $4bn lower than the same period in 2013, a preliminary estimate from Swiss Re have revealed.
The figures from the firm's Sigma database found that of these, natural catastrophe-related insurance claims made up $19bn, which was also down from $21bn in the same period last year.
Overall, total economic losses from disaster events were $44bn, and more than 4,700 people died as a result of natural catastrophes and man-made disasters.
At $21bn, insured losses were also lower than the average across the first six months of the year in the last decade, which stands at $27bn.
Among the major events were severe storms across the US in May, which led to $3.2bn of total losses, of which $2.6bn was insured. Storms the next month in Europe caused significant damage to properties and vehicles in parts of France, Germany and Belgium, causing total economic losses of $2.7bn, of which $2.5bn were insured. A snow storm in Japan in February caused $5bn of total losses, with insured losses making up half of this.