GENEVA (AP) — Insurance company Swiss Reinsurance Co. says the economic cost of natural and man-made disasters jumped threefold to $218 billion in 2010 from $68 billion the previous year.
Swiss Re says the number of deaths also rose sharply to 304,000 from 15,000 in 2009.
Haiti’s earthquake alone claimed 222,000 lives. Almost 56,000 people were killed by Russia’s summer heatwave and over 6,200 people died from floods in China and Pakistan.
The Zurich-based company says insurers bore $43 billion of the cost of disasters last year, a 60% year-on-year increase.
Swiss Re says the earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand had insured losses of over $12 billion.
In a report today it predicted losses from recent quakes in New Zealand and Japan will make 2011 another costly year for insurers.