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Swiss Re assesses catastrophe losses for 2007

Economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes around the world totalled more than $70 billion (SFr71.15 billion), according to figures released by Swiss Re.

This content was published on March 11, 2008 - 12:16

The world's largest reinsurer reported on Tuesday that more than 20,000 people died, and insurers were hit by claims worth $28 billion.

Swiss Re said that Europe was "unusually hard-hit" by natural catastrophes. In January, the Kyrill storm caused insured losses of $6.1 billion across Germany, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Summer floods in Britain caused a further $4.8 billion in insurance claims, a statement from the reinsurer said.

The most lethal catastrophe was Cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in November, causing 4,234 deaths.

Major man-made disasters caused insured losses of $4 billion in 2007, with major industrial fires, explosions, and aviation and spacecraft losses at the top of the list.
They also resulted in 6,900 deaths.

Swiss Re commented that although 2007 was not an exceptional year in terms of fatalities or losses, the figures confirmed a trend towards an increase in the number and cost of natural catastrophes and man-made disasters.

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