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Losses reach $71 billion through June: Swiss re report says claims cost insurers $31 billion.

A NEW report from Zurich-based reinsurance giant Swiss Re finds that total economic losses from disaster events during the first six months of 2016 rose 38% to $71 billion, as compared with the same period in 2015. The damage cost insurers $31 billion, a 51% increase from last year.

The leading causes of the losses were earthquakes in Japan, thunderstorms throughout much of the United States and Europe, and the massive wildfires in Canada.

Of the $71 billion in economic losses, natural catastrophes comprised $68 billion of the losses, an increase of $22 billion over 2015. Thunderstorms were the leading cause of the losses in the United States because of three separate weather events involving massive hail damage and high winds, which caused more than $7 billion in losses. An April storm in Texas resulted in $3.1 billion in insured losses, primarily due to hail damage. Manmade insured disasters accounted for $3 billion in covered losses, $2 billion lower than 2015.

In mid-April, earthquakes shook Kumamoto, Japan, including one 7.0-magnitude quake on April 16, that produced widespread structural damage and building collapses, as well as fires, causing $5.6 billion in damage and killing 64 people. That same day, 668 people were killed when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador, the single deadliest event for the first six months of 2016. Because so few residents carried insurance, total insured losses were only $400 million.

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Author:Harman, Patricia L.
Publication:Property Casualty 360-National Underwriter
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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