Review of natural catastrophes in 2014: Lower losses from weather extremes and earthquakes ~Munich Re

Posted on January 9, 2015 By

The year at a glance

  • Overall losses from natural catastrophes totalled US$ 110bn (previous year US$ 140bn), of which roughly US$ 31bn (previous year US$ 39bn) was insured.
  • The loss amounts were well below the inflation-adjusted average values of the past ten years (overall losses: US$ 190bn, insured losses: US$ 58bn), and also below the average values of the past 30 years (US$ 130bn/US$ 33bn).
  • At 7,700, the number of fatalities was much lower than in 2013 (21,000) and also well below the average figures of the past ten and 30 years (97,000 and 56,000 respectively). The figure was roughly on a par with that of 1984. The most severe natural catastrophe in these terms was the flooding in India and Pakistan in September, which caused 665 deaths.
  • In total, 980 loss-related natural catastrophes were registered, a much higher number than the average of the last ten and 30 years (830 and 640). Broader documentation is likely to play an important role in this context, since, particularly in years with low losses, small events receive greater attention than was usual in the past.
  • The costliest natural catastrophe of the year was Cyclone Hudhud, with an overall loss of US$ 7bn. The costliest natural catastrophe for the insurance industry was a winter storm with heavy snowfalls in Japan, which caused insured losses of US$ 3.1bn. Read more.

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