Insured losses from natural catastrophes dropped in 2015 compared to 2014. But man-made losses spiked higher, led by China’s Port of Tianjin explosions in August, Swiss Re said in its preliminary sigma report estimates.
At the same time, large disasters in other parts of the world led to fatalities hitting an estimated 26,000 in 2015, more than double the number from 2014, according to Swiss Re. Mass fatalities came from events including a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal and nearby countries, leading to 9,000 people losing their lives, the destruction of 500,000 homes and more than $6 billion in economic losses (of which only $160 million are insured).
The most costliest man-made disaster: The Tianjin explosion, which killed 173 people, caused many injuries, damaged and destroyed vehicles, shipping containers, production facilities and nearby property. Initial indications are that the event led to at least $2 billion in claims, making it the largest man-made loss event in Asia for the insurance industry.
Fires and explosions at other industrial sites and energy facilities in various locales added roughly $3 billion more to the main-made insured loss-tally, Swiss Re said.
Here’s a roundup of the Swiss Re sigma estimates:
Swiss Re cautioned that its estimates are preliminary and that final numbers could change once full-year source data is gathered and complete.
Source: Swiss Re