Archive for the ‘Swiss Re’ Category

Global insured losses from catastrophes were USD 45 billion in 2013, Swiss Re sigma says

April 1, 2014 Comments off

Global insured losses from catastrophes were USD 45 billion in 2013, Swiss Re sigma says
Source: Swiss Re

  • Total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 140 billion in 2013
  • Global insured losses were around USD 45 billion in 2013, with large contributions from flooding and hail events
  • Around 26 000 lives were lost in natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2013
  • A special chapter on climate change in the sigma says rising global temperatures are expected to lead to shifts in the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme weather events
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Mind the risk: A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters

September 20, 2013 Comments off

Mind the risk: A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters (PDF)
Source: Swiss Re
From press release:

When cities are struck by a natural disaster millions of people’s lives can be disrupted and the economic impact can be quite considerable. Swiss Re’s publication, Mind the Risk: A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters, provides a risk index comparing the human and economic exposure of 616 cities around the globe. The study is a basis for decision-makers, as well as the insurance industry and the broader public to promote dialogue on urban resilience.

Drawing on data in Swiss Re’s CatNet® tool and modelling know-how, this report demonstrates that coastal cities in Asia are especially at risk of catastrophic floods, storms, storm surges, earthquakes or tsunamis. For example about 29 million people in the Tokyo-Yokohama region could be affected by a major earthquake. Considering all perils it is the world’s most exposed urban area, followed by Manila and the Pearl River Delta in China. Outside Asia, Los Angeles is the highest ranked city (9th globally).

When essential infrastructure breaks down and people can no longer get to work, natural catastrophes can significantly disrupt the local and national economy. The report finds that metropolitan areas such as Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam-Rotterdam rank high in terms of potential lost productivity, measured by the value of working days lost. For example, the report shows that while a devastating earthquake in Los Angeles could affect just as many people as in Jakarta, the resulting value of working days lost would be 25 times higher.

In some conurbations, a natural disaster can have a devastating effect on the economy of the entire country. This is the case in larger cities such as Lima, but also in smaller cities such as San Jose in Costa Rica. Although potential economic losses in these cities are relatively modest, their importance as national centres of production places them among the top ten riskiest cities when measured by the expected fallout for their home countries.

Across the metropolitan areas studied, river flooding poses by far the largest risk. India and China have the most people exposed to flooding. However, the economic loss potential from river flooding pushes European cities such as Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Paris, Milan and London higher in the rankings.

Understanding and Coping with the Increasing Risk of System-Level Accidents

February 10, 2011 Comments off

Understanding and Coping with the Increasing Risk of System-Level Accidents (PDF)
Source: Swiss Re

The world has seen a number of recent events in which major systems came to a standstill, not from one cause alone but from the interaction of a combination of causes. System-level accidents occur when anomalies or errors in different parts of an interconnected system negatively reinforce one another, spiraling up out of control until they eventually drive the system outside of its sustainable boundaries, resulting in system “collapse.” Systems with multiple components that are tightly linked to one another are prone to such events. Increasingly, our industrial, commercial, and social systems are coming to have the characteristics that predict system-level accidents—in some cases, driven by consistent economic forces that cause tighter interconnections to form within existing systems—and there seems to be a rising frequency of such events. Since we inhabit an increasingly tightly interconnected global collection of such systems, finding ways to reduce and to manage systemic risk is an important priority.


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