• U.S. intervention hinders disaster recovery, says reinsurance giant

    Lloyd’s of London, the largest reinsurer of U.S. risk, said the federal government’s intervention in the insurance market could hinder recovery efforts following natural disasters; “We don’t believe that the U.S. has the balance between industry and government intervention right, you have government intervention in federal and state level, it demonstrates this is not a sustainable way to proceed,” said Lloyds general counsel

  • Disaster scams on the rise

    In the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, fraudsters have increasingly rushed in to take advantage of the outpouring of charitable donations; speaking on a panel at an international symposium on organized fraud in Australia, the Department of Justice’s deputy chief for strategy and policy in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, said scammers had websites for fake charities in place before predicted disasters had even hit

  • Republicans agree to move quickly on emergency FEMA funds

    Top Republican lawmakers say they will move quickly to pass President Obama’s request for emergency aid for victims of recent natural disasters like Hurricane Irene

  • 2011 disasters cause $55 billion in damages in U.S.

    This year’ natural disasters could cost the United States as much as $55 billion; prior to Hurricane Irene, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center estimated that the nine major natural disasters to hit the United States earlier this year caused an estimated $35 million in damages

  • Insurance to cover little of Irene's damage

    Hurricane Irene could be one of the ten costliest disasters in the history of the United States and since much of the damage was caused by flooding, insurance will cover little; in previous storms, insurance companies usually cover about half the total losses, but according to the Kinetic Analysis Corporation, insurers will likely cover less than 40 percent of costs

  • Hurricane's damage estimated at $7 billion

    One private estimate put damage along the coast at $7 billion, far from any record for a natural disaster; most attention was paid to the shore during Irene’s slow ride up the East Coast, but it was inland — even hundreds of miles inland — that the storm’s most serious devastation actually occurred and most of the damage was done by water, not wind; the death toll climbed to thirty-five people in ten states after a number of bodies were pulled from the floodwaters in the Northeast

  • Earthquake insurer seeks to diversify risk

    In an effort to diversify its risk and expand earthquake coverage, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), an insurance provider, has begun issuing bonds; the company says the initial bond issuance is part of its larger goal to expand the number of homes it covers

  • Disasters take toll on PartnerRe’s profits

    On Monday PartnerRe Ltd., the international reinsurer, announced that its second quarter earnings fell 35 percent as a result of the devastating natural disasters that struck around the world

  • Missouri Governor pledges $25 million for flood relief

    On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon pledged $25 million in state aid to help cities and counties rebuild following crippling floods throughout the southern half of the state; it is unclear whether the state will be forced to make budget cuts in order to afford the disaster spending; on Monday President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for five Missouri counties; under the declaration residents of the five counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance for the costs of temporary housing, home repairs, and loans to cover uninsured losses

  • World's largest reinsurer posts lower losses than expected

    The world’s largest reinsurer, Munich Re, posted smaller than expected losses for the first quarter of this fiscal year; the insurance giant warned investors for a “clearly negative” quarter as a result of insurance claims following the devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand this year; but, its net losses were mitigated in large part by smaller tax bills as a result of the natural disasters; industry analysts expected the reinsurance giant to post a loss of roughly 1.6 billion Euros ($2.28 billion), however the firm defied expectations posting a net loss of 947 million Euros thanks to a favorable tax gain of 612 million Euros due to its quarterly losses

  • 2010 record year for economic costs from disasters

    On Tuesday the Swiss insurance giant Swiss Re, released a study that found disasters in 2010 caused more than three times as much economic damage as 2009; last year disasters caused more than $218 billion in economic losses, the most in over thirty years; in 2010, insured losses totaled $48 billion, an increase of 60 percent from 2009; 2011 is on track to surpass 2010 as the costliest year, with massive earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand; the Japanese government estimates that the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami caused as much as $309 billion in damages

  • Lloyds of London's 2010 profit dropped 43 percent as a result of diasasters

    The profits of Lloyd’s of London dropped by 43 percent last year as the insurance market took big losses from earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand and from BP’s oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico

  • Japan's disaster draws attention to little-known U.S. nuclear insurance plan

    A little-known insurance pool in the United States that would provide insurance coverage for victims of nuclear reactor accidents occurring in the United States; the pool has been around for decades; Created under the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act of 1957 (Price-Anderson), the pool provides general liability insurance

  • New Zealand quake could take ten years and $15 billion to clean up

    David Carter, New Zealand’s acting economic development minister, estimates that it could take ten years to rebuild Christchurch after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the town last month; the cost of rebuilding is estimated at $15 billion and climbing; nearly a third of the buildings in its business district have been declared unsafe; New Zealand prime minister John Key ruled out an earthquake tax for fear it would hurt the economy, which has been hit hard by the recession; New Zealand is actively soliciting international aid to help with its recovery; Christchurch has a population of roughly 377,000 and makes up about 15 percent of the nation’s economy

  • 2010: a year of costly disasters

    Altogether, a total of 950 natural catastrophes were recorded last year, nine-tenths of which were weather-related events like storms and floods; this total makes 2010 the year with the second-highest number of natural catastrophes since 1980, markedly exceeding the annual average for the last ten years (785 events per year); the overall losses amounted to around $130 billion, of which approximately $37 billion was insured; the five “great natural catastrophes” of 2010 — the earthquakes in Haiti (1/12), Chile (2/27), and central China (4/13), the heat wave in Russia (July to September), and the floods in Pakistan (July to September) — claimed approximately 295,000 lives