Guy Carpenter has compiled information on six recent large earthquakes revealing that for three of the six, insurance covered less than one-quarter of the economic cost.

The conclusion is supported by a chart presented on an April 16 entry of the reinsurance broker’s blog, which shows the ratio of insured loss-to-economic loss for each of the quakes that caused more than $1 billion in losses over the last three years.

For two events in New Zealand (in 2010 and 2011) and one in Chile (2010), the insurance and reinsurance sectors contributed more than 25 percent of the overall cost. For Chile, however, the percentage was only 27 percent.

Events in Japan (2011), Italy (2009), and Haiti (2010) had even lower ratios—with Haiti’s 1 percent figure coming in lowest.

For the New Zealand events, 80 percent of the economic cost was covered by insurance and reinsurance.

Source: Guy Carpenter