Despite severe weather conditions, global insured losses in 2015 totalled around US$30.5 billion, well below the 5- and 10-year moving averages of around $49.7 billion and $62.6 billion respectively, said Guy Carpenter’s 2015 Global Catastrophe Review.
Last year also marked the lowest total insured catastrophe losses since 2009 and well below the $126 billion seen in 2011, the reinsurance broker added.
Economic losses below previous 10-year annual average
Likewise, global economic losses were also well below the previous 10-year annual average of $192 billion, according to Swiss Re’s sigma study. This was largely due to another benign hurricane season in the US. Last year was the 10th year in succession that no major hurricane made US landfall.
Total economic losses from all disasters, including both natural and manmade events, were $92 billion in 2015 (vs $113 billion in 2014). Around $80 billion were due to natural catastrophes, with the earthquake in Nepal causing the most damage, said Swiss Re.
Tianjin loss is biggest man-made insurance loss event in Asia
Guy Carpenter said that 2015 was certainly marked by one of the strongest El Niño periods on record but while climate drivers were the most active in recent years, the most devastating natural disaster yet was the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal in April. It added that 2015 saw several man-made disasters, including two significant warehouse explosions in the Port of Tianjin, China in August which are likely to be the largest insured man-made loss in Asia.
Swiss Re’s sigma study includes a special chapter on Tianjin, which it said has put a spotlight on accumulation risk in large transportation hubs such as ports.
The severity of the blasts and large asset exposures at the time meant that Tianjin, in addition to being the largest insured loss event of 2015, was the biggest man-made insurance loss event ever recorded in Asia, and also one of the biggest man-made insurance loss events worldwide ever.