From the devastating Haiti earthquake to the ongoing aftermath of the BP oil spill, man-made and natural disasters lead to a loss of $222 billion in 2010, more than three times last year's figure, the AFP is reporting.
The report cites the world's biggest reinsurer Swiss Re as the source of the staggering figures. According to officials, this year's catastrophes claimed the lives of 260,000 people, most of whom were lost in the deadly Haiti quake, which killed approximately 220,000. Man-made disasters triggered additional losses of about $5 billion, including $1 billion of property claims from the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg is reporting.
Yet as many of this year's disasters occurred in developing regions with little to no insurance coverage, the impact to insurers rose only 34 percent from a year ago to $36 billion. Business Insurance Weekly reports that it was Chile's less-devastating earthquake, rather than Haiti's, that was the most costly for insurers, at $8 billion.
"While most of the costliest events caused by the earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand and the winter storm in western Europe were covered by insurance, events like the earthquake in Haiti and floods in Asia were barely insured," Thomas Hee, chief economist of Swiss Re, said in a statement.
Here are some of this year's most catastrophic events: