International: Natural catastrophes

Asia looks like a natural disaster hot spot, although Steve Bowen, associate director and meteorologist at Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting, observes that despite the region comprising 57% of economic losses in 2014, the region's total was 18% below its most recent 10-year average.

The costliest event was Cyclone Hudhud in India, but - from an overall loss in excess of $7bn, only around $530m was insured. The question is, are such risks even insurable?

‘Acts of God' were relatively benevolent last year, with insurers more stirred than shaken by reported losses. This article studies the latest natural catastrophe trends, policy exclusions, as well as recent advances in modelling and analytics capabilities.