This year was one that brought disasters to areas all around the globe, and these catastrophes came with record breaking bills that have left the figures from previous years behind.
According to the data from Swiss Re AG, a reinsurance company, the quakes and tsunami in Japan, the earthquakes in New Zealand, the Thailand floods, and the large number of American tornadoes brought a global disaster loss total up to a staggering $350 billion.
The tremendous amount of devastation brought production at factories to a grinding halt and cut off supply chains. This had a cascading effect that impacted economies around the world. In New Zealand’s Christchurch, there remain full city blocks that are entirely uninhabitable. Similarly, in Missouri and Alabama, entire residential neighborhoods have been annihilated.
Swiss Re has estimated that when all of the claims are paid, it is likely that the insurance and reinsurance industries will have covered approximately $108 billion of the losses from the 2011 disasters, and it is possible that this number could grow.
This figure would have been even higher if it wasn’t for the fact that the individuals, businesses, and government in Japan are covering the majority of the losses resulting from the earthquake and tsunami. Similarly, though not to the same degree, many people were covered for damage from Hurricane Irene that resulted from wind, though many people and businesses did not have protection from flood damage.
Economist Robert Hartwig, the president of the trade group called the Insurance Information Institute, said that the losses covered by individuals and businesses who were not insured had a negative impact on the economy worldwide.