February 18th, 2014

Global Catastrophe Review, 2013

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

2013 provided a respite for the (re)insurance industry following above-average losses in 2011 and 2012, with insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters estimated at around USD40 billion, according to Guy Carpenter & Company (see Figure 1). This is considerably less than the ten-year average loss of approximately USD60 billion and well below the most significant years of 2005 and 2011 (see Figure 2 (Inflation adjusted)). This can be partly attributed to the unusually quiet 2013 Atlantic tropical season. About 47 percent of insured losses in 2013 were reported in the Americas, 31 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia and Australasia (see Figure 3). 

It is likely that 2013 will be remembered as the “year of the flood,” with significant flood events affecting Central Europe, Australia, the province of Alberta in Canada and Colorado in the United States. Other notable U.S. severe weather events included the outbreaks that produced the Moore, Oklahoma tornado, the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado and the late-season tornado outbreak affecting the Midwestern region. A series of severe weather events, including hail and windstorms, also affected Northern Europe during the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Typhoon Haiyan was established as perhaps the most powerful landfalling tropical cyclone on record, inflicting devastating impacts and loss of life in the Philippines, tragically with well over 7,000 fatalities.

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