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- 10 Doomsday Scenarios that could end the insurance industry
- April 28th, 2011 10:10 AM
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: deadly pandemics, massive earthquakes, hurricanes, and man-made disasters that obliterate entire countries. But could such Doomsday scenarios that threaten mass destruction and disease really bankrupt the insurance industry?
1. Hurricanes. On the morning of August 29, 2005, the most devastating hurricane in American history made landfall in Southeast Louisiana. The damage left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina shocked the world.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the storm generated the largest single loss in the history of insurance – $41.1 billion and more than 1.7 million claims in six states. This figure does not include $16.1 billion in losses from the flooding, or $2 billion of insured damages to offshore energy facilities.
“Hurricane Katrina produced the highest volume of claim payments in our history,” says Dick Luedke, spokesperson for State Farm. “So, it’s the best example of how we are impacted by a large-scale catastrophe.
2. Tornadoes. According to the institute, about 1,200 tornadoes with wind speeds up to 300 miles per hour hit the U.S. each year. Tornadoes occur more frequently than hurricanes and cause severe damage over a small area. The frequency of tornadoes and resulting deaths were up in 2010, compared to 2009. According to the National Weather Service, 1,280 tornadoes touched ground in 2010 compared to 1,256 in 2009. According to A.M. Best, 2008 was the worst year for losses due to Tornadoes. It was also the second worst year for the sheer number of storms. The losses reported by ISO/PCS for 2008 were $10.5 billion from 29 events.
3. Global Warming. Another large-scale threat is adverse climate change. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over time, climate change is expected to the affect water resources, food production, energy use, transportation, commerce, recreation and even national security. For example, rising temperatures have already decreased the size of snow packs in the western United States. Over time, reduced snow packs could affect seasonal water supplies in regions that depend on this source of water.Pages: 1 2
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