Despite Moore and Haiyan, Deadly Storms Less Costly in 2013

By FOXBusiness

Damages and deaths in 2013 related to severe weather were largely led by intense Typhoon Haiyan. However temperate climate elsewhere in the world helped offset severe Asian and European storms, pushing total catastrophe losses far below the 10-year average.

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Floods and hailstorms caused $15.2 billion in losses in central Europe, according to data from Munich Re, while the Philippines struggled with one of the strongest typhoons in history, Haiyan. The typhoon killed more than 6,000 people and caused more than $10 billion in losses -- equivalent to 5% of the Philippines’ annual economic output.

The impact of Haiyan is especially noteworthy given its destruction of the region’s extensive sugar cane cultivation operations and the sheer number of people left homeless by the storm, both significant blows to the emerging economy. The next costliest super typhoon was Bopha in 2012, which cost $1 billion.

Yet, global losses were “somewhat more moderate” overall last year, the world’s largest reinsurer said.

Direct overall losses of around $125 billion and insured losses of around $31 billion were below the 10-year average of $184 billion and $56 billion, respectively.

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That’s mostly due to a record low number of hurricanes in the North Atlantic at just 13 cyclones, the smallest amount since 1982. None of hurricane strength made landfall.

The unexpected lack of hurricanes was partially offset by several deadly storms in Tornado Alley last spring, where Allstate (NYSE:ALL) and Travelers (NYSE:TRV) hold significant liabilities.

One category five storm with winds surpassing 186 miles per hour destroyed 10,000 houses in the suburb of Moore, Oklahoma, resulting in losses of $3.1 billion, $1.8 billion, of which were insured, according to Munich Re.

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