Natural disaster costs jump amid earthquakes, storms and fires

Natural disaster costs jump amid earthquakes, storms and fires  

12 July 2016

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Global— Berlin (dpa) – The cost of natural disasters around the world rose sharply in the first six months of the year following a series of devastating earthquakes, storms and forest fires, the world‘s biggest reinsurance group Munich Re said on Tuesday.

Losses from disasters climbed to 70 billion dollars between January and June compared with 59 billion dollars in the same period in 2015, said German-based Munich Re.

“These events clearly show the importance of loss prevention, such as protection against flash floods or the construction of earthquake-resistant buildings in high-risk areas,” said Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek.

Only 27 billion euros – less than half of the total sum – was covered by insurance, the company said. Reinsurance groups cover the risks for general insurers.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador, severe storms and flash floods in Europe, and devastating forest fires in Canada and the United States led to 3,800 people losing their lives, the Munich-based group said.

However, this was less than the 21,000 who perished in natural disasters in the first half of 2015

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