2008 the second costliest year on record for catastrophe insurance losses

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Swiss Re have released some preliminary estimates for 2008 catastrophe losses in 2008. Taken from a forthcoming Sigma study, the total economic loss is said to be $225B with insured losses coming in at $50B.

Hurricane Ike is the top insured loss for the year, followed by Hurricane Gustav and winter storm Emma (which affected Europe). Cyclone Nargis caused the greatest number of fatalities with the China earthquake next on that list. 2005 was the worst catastrophe year on record with over $100B in catastrophe insurance losses recorded.

The catastrophe bond and insurance-linked security market got off lightly this year. With such high levels of loss it is surprising that no bonds were triggered. Hurricane Ike still doesn’t have official, final loss figures but it’s unlikely that it will affect any cat bonds.

You can read the full press release from Swiss Re here.

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