Swiss Re has published its latest Sigma report which looks at the extent of natural catastrophe and man-made disaster losses during 2009. According to the report catastrophes and disasters caused $26B in insured losses last year and the overall cost to society in economic loss was $62B.
Losses to insurers are below average, the main reason being the benign U.S. North Atlantic hurricane season. Natural catastrophes caused $22B of the losses with man-made disasters causing $4B. The most costly insured loss of the year was European windstorm Klaus which caused $3.3B in losses across France and Spain.
2010 is already off to a bad start as far as insured catastrophe losses go with the Chilean earthquake and European windstorm Xynthia both destined to cause many insurers to tap into their reserves. With a severe U.S. hurricane season being discussed 2010 could leave much heavier losses with the insurance and reinsurance industries.