You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • US gas prices fall to lowest since February, Lundberg says
    The average price of regular gasoline at U.S. pumps slid to the lowest level since Feb. 7, dropping 8.9 cents in the two weeks ended Friday, Sept. 19 to $3.3741 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.
  • week ahead
    Today • National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales for August Wednesday • Commerce
  • Avon quits trade group over bylaws
    Avon Products is leaving the trade association it helped found more than a century ago, writing in a letter to other member companies this month that the group's bylaws might not adequately protect consumers from fraud.
Advertisement

Disasters dent insurers’ year

$77 billion global payout in ’12 is 3rd highest on record

– Insurance claims paid out because of natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2012 totaled $77 billion globally, making it the third costliest year on record, a leading Swiss firm said Wednesday.

The tab covered by insurance companies represents only about two-fifths of the $186 billion in economic losses, not to mention the 14,000 lives lost, from the more than 300 catastrophes and disasters around the globe last year, according to Zurich-based Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd., known as Swiss Re.

But the vast majority of that damage, it said, was because of “large-scale weather events” in the U.S. such as Hurricane Sandy that alone accounted for $70 billion in economic losses, of which $35 billion were insured losses – nearly half the total in last year’s paid claims worldwide.

The insured payouts of $77 billion represent a big drop from 2011, which Swiss Re called the costliest year on record because of earthquakes and flooding in Asia Pacific – and might have been far higher had more people been able to afford insurance.

“However, large parts of the globe that are prone to weather extremes were not able to rely on financial relief due to low insurance penetration,” Swiss Re chief economist Kurt Karl said.

By contrast, because of the high amount of coverage in North America, about $65 billion of the region’s $119 billion in economic losses were covered by insurance, according to industry officials.

Advertisement