As with Europe, 2013 was a year of flood in the Americas, with notable events in Alberta, Toronto and Colorado. The flood event in the Calgary, Alberta area of Canada resulted in estimated insured losses of around USD2 billion, with economic losses of USD4.8 billion (1). This event, combined with flash-flooding in Toronto, Ontario in July, meant Canada experienced its most expensive insured catastrophe loss year on record.
Posts Tagged ‘US’
Guy Carpenter & Company released its 2013 Catastrophe Review, which shows that natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2013 resulted in insured losses of approximately $40 billion. Following above-average losses experienced in 2011 and 2012, 2013 provided a respite for the (re)insurance industry as insured losses were considerably less than the ten-year average of approximately $60 billion.
In the figure below, the January 1, 2014 average quote across all programs is represented by the line at 0 percent, while the red dots indicate reinsurers’ distances from the mean across all the programs that they quoted. The size of the line represents the variability from the average for all quotes provided by the reinsurer. Each reinsurer is represented across the bottom of the chart by its A.M. Best rating. Quotes representing non-concurrent terms were excluded.
The January 1, 2014 renewal saw rates on line (ROLs) fall significantly in nearly all regions and business segments as relatively low loss experiences, strong balance sheets and an influx of capital spurred competition and innovation in the reinsurance market. This culminated in a marketplace focused on meeting individual client needs as reinsurers reacted to the challenge posed by alternative markets and alternative markets, in turn, sought to deliver unique solutions. Insurers also looked to capitalize by adapting their buying strategies and prioritizing their risk transfer goals.
Guy Carpenter & Company reports that reinsurance rates-on-line fell at the January 1, 2014 renewal in nearly all classes and regions. According to Guy Carpenter’s 2014 global renewal report, strong balance sheets, relatively low loss experiences and an unprecedented influx of convergence capital spurred competition and innovation at renewal. These factors led in turn to surplus capacity across most business segments as competition spilled beyond property catastrophe lines.
As the majority of historical events illustrate, higher geomagnetic latitude countries such as the United States, Canada and Nordic countries are most at risk of suffering the effects of extreme solar storms. (1) However, lower geomagnetic latitude regions such as the Caribbean and more central and southern parts of Europe could also be affected during extreme events. Other factors such as geology, proximity to the coast and location and fragility of power grid infrastructure help determine the risk posed by solar activity.
A late-season severe convective outbreak has affected a large portion of the Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Great Lakes including Southern Ontario. This widespread and violent outbreak has left absolute damage in communities such as Washington, Illinois. The outbreak occurred ahead of a strong cold front affecting the area. Numerous tornadoes have been reported, primarily in Indiana and Illinois, with some preliminary reports as high as an EF-4 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Reports of pea to quarter sized hail are more widespread, together with damaging winds.
Changing Precipitation Patterns - Drought and Wildfire
Global warming is also impacting drought and wildfire patterns around the world, with notable regional differences. The IPCC says that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts (southern Europe and West Africa in particular) while other areas such as central North America and northwestern Australia have seen less frequent, less intense or shorter drought events.