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Insured Losses from 2010 Catastrophes Hits $38 Billion

Natural catastrophes around the world increased dramatically in 2010, with both costs and insured losses far higher than in previous years.

According to the Aon Benfield Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report, there were 314 separate natural catastrophes worldwide, from events such as earthquakes, floods and severe weather. They caused economic losses of nearly $252 billion in 2010, with insured losses of nearly $38 billion.

In 2009, 222 events combined to produce $58 billion in economic losses and $20 billion in insured losses.

The top 10 insured loss events of 2010 accounted for $23 billion in insured losses, about 61% of the total. They were five severe weather events, one winter storm event, two earthquakes and two floods. The remaining $15 billion insured losses were a combination of winter storms, severe weather, flooding, tropical cyclone activity, earthquakes and wildfires.

The highest insured loss of 2010 was the Chile earthquake in February, estimated at $8.5 billion in insured losses. The flooding in Pakistan caused the greatest single event economic loss, reported at more than $30 billion.

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