Climate change biggest impact on developing countries: Munich Re

16 April 2008 | 03:59 Code : 17138 Geoscience events
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Insured losses from nat cats will be felt particularly acutely in developing...

  Insured losses from nat cats will be felt particularly acutely in developing countries, like India, says Munich Re.Climate change will have a particularly destructive impact on developing countries, like India, finds a new report.In the report, Topics Geo – Natural catastrophes 2007, Munich Re's geo risk experts said that the accumulation of extreme weather events in India is very probably due to global warming. On one day in 2005 Mumbai recorded 944 mm of rain, the highest level of precipitation ever measured on a single day in India. At the same time, the rapid development of India's economy is accompanied by growing prosperity, leading to higher concentrations of values – particularly in exposed regions like Mumbai, said Munich Re. The reinsurer said this and the strong rise in demand for insurance protection has driven up insured losses in recent years. Whilst annual losses averaged no more than $5m between 1980 and 2004, the figure in 2006 alone exceeded $400m. ‘Climate change presents a particular challenge to fast-growing emerging countries like India,’ said Torsten Jeworrek from Munich Re's board of management. ‘In conjunction with greater prosperity and the effects of climate change, there is a distinct increase in losses. For this reason, our geo risk researchers undertake intensive examinations of the changing risk situation in countries like India. We use this special know-how to ensure our underwriting is based on risk-adequate prices, terms and conditions and also make it available to our clients as a service.’ The losses caused by natural catastrophes in 2007 were within the range expected and in line with the trend observed in recent years. Overall losses throughout the world came to about $82bn, of which nearly $30bn was carried by the insurance industry. Losses were much higher than in the previous year, when they admittedly dropped to an exceptionally low level. There were 960 natural events in 2007 (compared with 850 in 2006), the highest figure ever recorded since 1974.

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