2009’s Notable Global Catastrophes—A Look From An Insurance Point Of View

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 9:00 AM
B206 (GWCC)
Steven Drews, Impact Forecasting LLC/Aon Benfield Analytics, Chicago, IL

Global natural catastrophes occur on a fairly regular basis throughout a given year. With general populations locating in higher risk areas such as coastal regions, low-lying areas and along hillsides, the risk potential for large catastrophic events leading to loss of life and property has increased dramatically over the last 50 years. In 2009, notable disasters occurred worldwide, including at least three US$1 billion severe weather outbreaks in the United States, a large January windstorm across Europe causing multiple billions of dollars in loss, a large earthquake in Italy in April, flooding in June and July in southeastern Asia and two landfalling typhoons in August and September causing at least US$1 billion in losses across southeastern Asia.

In more developed countries, property insurance is either required or more readily available and affordable to residents. In less developed countries, however, a large catastrophic event that may produce large loss of life and property could have very low to no insured losses due to a lack of insurance. Some of the most notable events of 2009 from across the world will be briefly described and their losses will be described from fatality, economic (uninsured + insured) loss and insured loss perspectives.