Thursday, December 15, 2011

Worldwide Disaster Claims to Exceed $350 Billion in 2011

Swiss Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers, has issued a preliminary Sigma analysis of disasters in 2011 and has projected 2011 to be a record-breaking year for disasters.  The comprehensive sigma study “Natural and man-made catastrophes in 2011” will be published in Spring 2012.  The prelminary analysis shows that total insured losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached $108 billion in 2011. This is more than double the figure of $48 billion in 2010. Claims from natural catastrophes alone reached $103 billion in 2011, compared to only $43 billion last year.

The American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Disaster Initiative has a series of webcasts, podcasts, and programs that address natural and man-made disasters, as well as disasters caused by terrorism.  Many of the issues outlined in the Sigma study by Swiss Re have been and will be discussed at upcoming Disaster Initiative programs and podcasts, including those on February 3, 2012 in New Orleans at the ABA's Mid-Year meeting (focusing on disasters caused by man-made acts, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is going to trial in 2012, and the unique challenges faced by courts and local governments when disasters happen like when the levees broke); May 17, 2012 at the TIPS Spring Meeting in Charlotte, NC (focusing on disasters caused by acts of nature, and a full CLE track on disaster preparedness); and August 3, 2012 at the ABA's Annual Meeting in Chicago (with the focus on disasters caused by terrorism - including a blockbuster panel with important government officials and an insurance industry panel including Bob Hartwig).

To access the podcasts and videocasts that have already taken place and for more information about the TIPS Disaster Initiative and upcoming programs, including how to register, please click here.

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