To redirect our focus to the overall
2013 picture, despite the lows for hurricane, wildfire, and tornado losses, other
events garnered considerable public attention.
Surprisingly, abnormal sinkhole activity took center stage, as three separate
sinkhole catastrophes took place in Florida. In addition to sparking rampant media coverage, those events raised public
awareness of the often overlooked peril.
Aside from sinkholes, thunderstorms
were a major factor in the year's overall
“Thunderstorms dominated catastrophe activity, causing nearly 90 percent of
insured catastrophe losses in the United
States,” Louwagie explained. “Wildfire
emerged as one of the most discussed
perils of the year, given the recent devastation in Colorado Springs. It’s an
emerging risk to follow proactively in
the year ahead."
In 2012, there were 11 weather and cli-
mate disasters, with losses exceeding $1
billion each in the United States. Those
disasters claimed 377 lives, by CoreLogic’s
estimation. These natural events caused
a combined total of more than $110 bil-
lion in damages, making 2012 the second
costliest year on record behind 2005.
A report issued by Swiss Re in Decem-
ber confirms the U.S. experienced a mod-
erate year when compared to cat losses on
the global scale. In 2013, insured losses
from disasters were down significantly
from about $81 billion in 2012.
Economic losses from cats in 2013
amounted to about $130 billion, compared with $196 billion in 2012. Swiss Re
adds that the loss of human life last year
was greater—25,000 died as a result from
natural and man-made disasters compared to 14,000 in 2012.
The highest loss of life occurred from
Typhoon Haiyan, which killed at least
7,000 people and packed some of the
strongest winds ever recorded, bringing
heavy rain and storm surges.
Swiss Re notes the June flooding in central and Eastern Europe caused $4 billion
in insured losses, becoming the second
most expensive fresh water flood on record, just behind the 2011 Thailand flood,
which generated more than $16 billion in
insured claims. PCS also designated five
catastrophe events in Canada in 2013, the
two most significant being the floods in
Calgary and Toronto.
In 2013, there were
only 13 named storms,
with just two reaching
neither of which were
defined as major.
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