ZURICH: The economic cost of disasters across the world dropped in 2015 to around $85 billion (78 billion euros) from $113 million last year, reinsurance company Swiss Re said on Friday.
Insurance companies covered $32 billion of the total, it said in its Sigma study.
The 2015 figure is much below the annual average over the past decade of $192 billion, Swiss Re said.
The cost of natural disasters alone accounted for $74 billion of this year’s total, it said.
The industrial disaster in Tianjin in northeastern China, where massive explosions at a hazardous goods storage firm on August 12 killed 161 people, is estimated to have been the year’s costliest catastrophe, with insurers covering more than $2 billion of the damage, but calculations are ongoing.
Among natural catastrophes, the February winter storms in the United States produced the biggest bill for insurers, costing them around $2.7 billion.
The Nepal earthquake, which killed 9,000 people and destroyed 500,000 homes had an economic cost of more than $6 billion, but insurers had to pay out just $160 million, Swiss Re said.