2011 A Year of Unprecedented Losses

I remain a big fan of tracking insurance losses, especially natural hazard-related, as a way of tracking the tectonic changes (literally) in our world.

An exceptional accumulation of very severe natural catastrophes makes 2011 the highest-ever loss year on record, even after the first half-year. Already, the approx. US$ 265bn in economic losses up to the end of June easily exceeds the total figure for 2005, previously the costliest year to date US$ 220bn for the year as a whole. Most of the losses were caused by the earthquake in Japan on 11 March.

Altogether, the loss amount was more than five times higher than the first-half average for the past ten years. The insured losses, around US$ 60bn, were also nearly five times greater than the average since 2001. First-half losses are generally lower than second-half losses, which are often affected by hurricanes in the North Atlantic and typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. The total number of loss-relevant natural events in the first six months of 2011 was 355, somewhat below the average for the previous ten years 390.

via Munich Re – Accumulation of very severe natural catastrophes makes 2011 a year of unprecedented losses.


  1. A Country Farmer says:

    What changes are you referring to? Has the number and magnitude of earthquakes changed? Or do we have more expensive people and stuff near nature's disaster cradles?


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