Wednesday, 06 January, 2016

Insurance cost of natural disasters falls in 2015: Munich Re

Natural catastrophe losses total $90 bn in 2015: Munich Re Natural catastrophe losses total $90 bn in 2015
Dillon Hess | 05 January, 2016, 01:47

Global insured catastrophe losses totalled $27bn in 2015, the lowest level since 2009, according to Munich Re. Climate change may have played a role in the floods, it said.

The insurance industry lobbied governments to take action to curb climate change in the run-up to the United Nations climate summit in Paris past year.

"The proportion of insured losses for catastrophes in developing and emerging countries remains very low", said Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek.

Some 94 percent of loss-relevant natural catastrophes in 2015 were weather-related events, Munich Re added.

However, the number of victims was still less than half the annual average for the last 30 years of 54,000, Munich Re said in a statement.

Insurers and reinsurers may get a push from an worldwide effort unveiled by the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, to develop company disclosures so that investors can assess companies' physical, liability and other risks from climate change.

An aerial view showing the destruction and damaged buildings and monuments at Kathmandu's Durbar Square, Nepal, 27 April 2015 following the powerful natural disaster on 25 April.

Natural disasters claimed 23,000 lives last year, substantially more than the previous year's figure of 7,700.

Lower claims payouts boost insurance industry profit but the downside for reinsurers is that their insurance company clients often then demand lower prices for reinsurers' backing.

Willis Re said reinsurance prices continued to fall for contracts taking effect at the start of 2016 and that predictions of an end to the multi-year decline had proved illusory.

Munich Re said economic losses from natural catastrophes were about $90 billion in 2015 compared with $110 billion in 2014.

"The January renewals have unfortunately confounded the hopes of commentators that the market was reaching a pricing floor", Willis Re's Cavanagh said.

Munich Re's figure exceeds that estimated by peer Swiss Re, which pinned insured nat...

Munich Re is due to report its own results on 4 February.