Insurer says disasters caused less death and damage during 2013

City A.M. Reporter
NATURAL catastrophes like floods and storms claimed more than 20,000 lives and caused around $125bn (£76bn) in damage worldwide in 2013, well below the average of the last decade, reinsurer Munich Re said yesterday.

The world’s largest reinsurer said Supertyphoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines, China and Vietnam in November, was probably the strongest tropical storm ever to make landfall and was last year’s deadliest natural event.

Flooding in central Europe in May and June topped the list of global economic damage last year at more than $15bn, with the insurance industry paying out $3bn in claims.

The most costly event for insurers last year was a set of hailstorms that struck southern Germany in July, damaging hundreds of thousands of cars and buildings and prompting $3.7bn in insurance payouts.

Both the $125bn global economic damage caused by natural catastrophes last year and the $31bn in claims paid by insurers were below the average of the last 10 years of $184bn and $56bn, respectively, Munich Re said.