• IS provokes sea-change

    It has been a grave mistake to defy both Russia and France, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Nene's SAA nemesis

    No political figure seems to have the guts to speak out against Dudu Myeni, says Solly Moeng.

  • The mp3 revolution

    Ian Mann takes a look at the war between digital music and the compact disc.

All data is delayed
See More

Quakes prompt record insurance claims in 2011

Jan 04 2012 14:57
Frankfurt - Insurance industry damage claims from natural disasters like the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand reached a record $105bn in 2011, said Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer.

The cost to insurers from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March, which caused nearly 16 000 deaths, was estimated at $35-$40bn, the company said on Wednesday in a review of last year’s natural disasters.

An earthquake in New Zealand in February added a further $13bn to insurers’ claims payout for the year, Munich Re said.

The earthquakes together made up about half of last year’s total insured losses from natural catastrophes, which topped the previous record of $101bn set in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

“Normally, it is the weather-related natural catastrophes that are the dominant loss drivers,” Munich Re said.

Despite the heavy payouts, many observers say that the claims were not big enough on their own to provide a broad boost to reinsurers’ pricing strength relative to their insurance company clients because reinsurers still have plenty of excess capital.

Total economic losses last year - including those not covered by insurance - totalled $380bn, the reinsurer said, thus also topping the previous record of $220bn set in 2005.

Munich Re’s figures differ somewhat from those of rival Swiss Re published last month, which include man-made disasters in the calculation.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote