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September 26, 2017

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2008 second worst year for weather-related disaster losses

POZNAN, Poland -- Weather-related disasters and earthquakes are likely to make 2008 the second most costly year for insurers after 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the United States, a leading insurer said on Wednesday.

Losses in 2008 are around US$160 billion so far, Thomas Loster, chair of Munich Re Foundation, told Reuters on the sidelines of Dec. 1-12 climate talks in Poznan, Poland.

He said it was likely to have been surpassed only by 2005, when Katrina contributed to losses of US$220 billion.

Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar in May, was the most deadly event of 2008 so far, claiming an estimated 84,500 lives. The most costly was May's earthquake in China.

Munich Re said in a study with the U.N. Environment Program that weather-related disasters seemed to be on the rise, in line with forecasts by the U.N. Climate Panel that blames mankind for global warming.

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