British insurance market posts huge losses in disaster-filled year
Share Now on:
Steve Chiotakis: This morning the centuries-old British insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, is reporting a loss of more than a billion dollars for the first six months of the year. And all due to a record number of claims from natural disasters.
From London, here’s reporter Christopher Werth.
Christopher Werth: There’s been no shortage of natural disasters this year. There’s of course, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan back in March. But also some lesser-known but still catastrophic disasters, like earthquakes in New Zealand and floods in Australia.
Thomas Hess of the insurer Swiss Re says the total cost to the insurance industry for the first half of 2011 comes to a whopping $70 billion dollars.
Thomas Hess: With $70 billion, 2011 is already the year with the second largest losses in history. So this year is quite a catastrophic year.
And that doesn’t even include the costs of Tropical Storm Irene that battered the Eastern coast of the United States last month. That, along with three more months of possible future disasters, could make 2011 the worst year for disaster insurance.
At $120 billion dollars, 2005 is the most expensive year on record due to Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita.
Hess says disasters can have a negative impact on both local and global economies. But he says that’s typically followed by short-term economic growth as communities rebuild.
In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.