Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:30 EDT

Cost of Floods has More Than Doubled in the Last 10 Years and now Rivals Earthquake Losses, Says New Swiss Re Publication

September 5, 2012

ZURICH, September 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

Flood losses are increasing at an alarming rate, while the insurability of floods
provides unique challenges for the industry according to Swiss Re’s latest report, Flood -
an underestimated risk: Inspect, inform, insure
[http://media.swissre.com/documents/Flood.pdf ]. Coinciding with the release of the
publication is the release of a flood app for iPads.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:


No other natural catastrophe impacts as many people as flooding. An estimated 500
million people are affected every year across all parts of the globe. The increase in
flood claims has been significant; 1970′s annual claims were USD 1-2 billion, whereas
2011′s insured flood losses amounted to USD 15 billion. Recent flood events in Thailand,
Australia and the Philippines show that floods now rival earthquakes and hurricanes in
terms of economic losses.

Matthias Weber, Swiss Re Group Chief Underwriting Officer, says: “With this
publication we want to raise greater awareness of floods and their risks. We show what it
takes to tackle the challenges in flood insurance and how successful solutions might look
for homeowners and companies.”

Population growth, a concentration of assets in exposed areas and climate change all
contribute to the increasing costs of flood damage and create challenges for insurability.

Jens Mehlhorn, Head of Flood at Swiss Re and the report’s key author, says: “The USD
12 billion insured losses in Thailand really highlighted the potential for flood to cause
extreme losses. The insured losses corresponded to 1800% of the country’s total annual
property premium.”

The report shows how insurers can support risk-minimization strategies such as
flood-walls and urban planning. It also investigates national flood insurance programs.

Thailand’s recent flooding led to the identification of ‘hot spots’ -clusters of
industries relevant to global supply chains located within flood prone regions. These
areas face extreme losses when claims are triggered by interruptions to international
supply-chains. The identification of these hot spots was enabled by Swiss Re’s Global
Flood Zones(R) model, which provides very high resolution flood maps for the entire globe.

Swiss Re is also launching a flood app for iPad, available on the App Store.

Read full release at http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/swissre/56573 or





Source: PR Newswire