2015 saw lowest losses for natural disasters in 6 years: insurer

BERLIN -- Last year saw the lowest financial costs from natural disasters worldwide since 2009 as the El Nino weather phenomenon reduced hurricane activity in the North Atlantic, a leading insurer said Monday.

See Full Article

The year's most devastating disaster was the earthquake in Nepal in April, but only a fraction of the resulting losses was insured.

Insurer Munich Re said in an annual survey that both insured losses and overall costs resulting from disasters were the lowest since 2009. It said that there were some $27 billion in insured losses, while overall costs -- including losses not covered by insurance -- totalled $90 billion. Those figures were down from $31 billion and $110 billion respectively in 2014.

The costliest single event for the insurance industry was a series of winter storms that hit the northeastern U.S. and Canada in February. They generated insured losses of $2.1 billion and total losses of $2.8 billion.

In contrast, the earthquake in Nepal caused total damage valued at $4.8 billion, but only $210 million of that was insured. That underlined the fact that, in developing countries, the level of insurance coverage remains very low.

In several other years, hurricanes hitting North America in particular have caused significant costs to the insurance industry.

However, "in terms of financial losses, we were somewhat fortunate in 2015: strong tropical cyclones frequently only hit sparsely populated areas or did not make landfall at all," said Peter Hoeppe, the head of Munich Re's risk research unit. "In the North Atlantic, El Nino helped to curtail the development of heavy storms."

El Nino is caused by the warming of waters in the Pacific Ocean that causes changes in rainfall patterns. Hoeppe cautioned that scientists believe the phenomenon may be followed by its twin sister, La Nina, which would encourage the formation of North Atlantic hurricanes.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Judicial watchdog finds no problem with judges attending sponsored cocktail parties

    Economic CBC News
    The Canadian Judicial Council has dismissed complaints against federal judges who attended sponsored cocktail events at an international tax conference in Europe. In a statement released Thursday, the council said that complaints related to two Canadian judges, Justice Randall Bocock and Justice Denis Pelletier, are "unfounded" and that "no further action is required. Source
  • Commons committee to discuss NAFTA renegotiations

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - U.S.-initiated negotiations to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement are bound to be long and hard. Canadian officials maintain that Mexico is the real target of President Donald Trump's determination to renegotiate what he considers to be a bad deal for America. Source
  • Asian shares meander as central banks keep monetary policy steady

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares were mixed Friday in muted trading after the European Central Bank announced no changes to its stimulus policies. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2 per cent to 20,109.57 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 per cent to 5,750.70. Source
  • First Nation opposes proposed powerline project in New Hampshire

    Economic CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- Supporters of a controversial project that would bring Canadian hydro power to markets in southern New England like to talk about how this would use much cleaner energy than the coal-fired power plants that once dominated the region. Source
  • NEB to reconsider B.C. natural gas pipeline jurisdiction: judge rules

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- A Federal Court of Appeal judge has ruled the National Energy Board must reconsider whether a proposed TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) natural gas pipeline in B.C. falls under provincial or federal jurisdiction. "The board did not ask itself whether an arguable case for federal jurisdiction had been made out," wrote judge Donald J. Source
  • U.S. says ban on laptops in airplane cabins has been lifted

    Economic CTV News
    DALLAS -- The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the U.S. is over, as federal officials say that large airports in the region have taken other steps to increase security. Source
  • McDonald's adds Big Mac onesie, sweats to items it delivers

    Economic CTV News
    OAK BROOK, Ill. -- With McDonald's now offering a delivery service, the fast food giant is looking to make customers comfortable eating at home with a new clothing line that includes an adult-size Big Mac onesie. Source
  • Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Dozens of Sears stores slated for closure begin liquidation sales Friday, but bargain hunters would be wise to temper their expectations, say industry experts. Eager to avoid bankruptcy, the one-time retail giant is counting on hordes of shoppers to scoop up discounted merchandise, fixtures and equipment as soon as possible. Source
  • Price shock: Fraser report shows Ontario hydro prices surging at twice national average

    Economic CTV News
    Ontario energy prices have skyrocketed significantly higher and faster than the rest of the country over the last nine years, with Torontonians paying twice the national average, according to a report from the right-leaning Fraser Institute. Source
  • Exxon Mobil fined $2M US for Tillerson-era breach of Russia sanctions

    Economic CBC News
    The Treasury Department hit Exxon Mobil Corp. with a $2 million fine Thursday for violating Russia sanctions while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil company's CEO. Treasury said in a statement that Exxon under Tillerson's leadership had shown "reckless disregard" for sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian entities in 2014 over Russia's annexation of Crimea. Source