Morning Briefing: Global disaster losses jump in 2016

Global disaster losses jump in 2016… Farmers expands rideshare coverage… XL Catlin bolsters global M&A team in New York…

Insurance News


Global disaster losses jump in 2016
The total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters was significantly higher in 2016 than in 2015.

Preliminary sigma data from Swiss Re shows a jump from $94 billion last year to an estimated $158 billion in 2016 with insured losses rising from $37 billion in 2015 to $49 billion this year.

Earthquakes and floods were among the drivers of the higher losses but man-made disasters contributed less to the overall losses.

The reinsurer’s figures show that many of the disasters took place in areas where insurance penetration is low, however this does not only include emerging economies.

"Society is underinsured against earthquake risk," Swiss Re Chief Economist Kurt Karl says. "And the protection gap is a global concern. For example, Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world, yet only 1 per cent of homes in Italy are insured against earthquake risk. Most of the reconstruction cost burden of this year's quakes there will fall on households and society at large."

The cost of Hurricane Matthew was a significant one for the US with around $8 billion in economic losses, roughly half of which were insured. Flooding was another impact on insurers in North America and Europe, while the Alberta wildfires were a key cost for Canadian insurers.
Farmers expands rideshare coverage
Drivers for firms such as Uber and Lyft now have a new option for insurance coverage in Oregon after Farmers Insurance launched its new product.

Rideshare Insurance Coverage is now available in 28 states and covers drivers from the moment they switch on their app to await passengers. They remain covered until a passenger is collected, at which point the ride-share firm’s commercial insurance coverage will apply.

Brokers and agents can add the coverage to existing Farmers’ auto policies and has a range of options which include comprehensive and medical payments.
XL Catlin bolsters global M&A team in New York
The global mergers and acquisitions insurance team of XL Catlin has two new members with the appointment of Joseph W. Laws and Michael J. McGowan as directors in North America.

McGowan joins from Chubb where he was VP of Chubb’s Transactional Risk practice and leading the structuring and underwriting of Representations and Warranties insurance as well as other transaction-based products. 

Laws was with law firm Kirkland & Ellis, advising private equity funds and others on mergers and acquisitions.

Both will report to Brian Benjamin, head of XL Catlin’s Global M&A Insurance business. 

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