Insured losses caused by man-made catastrophes worldwide 1990-2019

The statistic presents global insured losses caused by man-made catastrophes from 1990 to 2019. The insurance losses from man-made disasters worldwide amounted to approximately 7.73 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

Man-made catastrophes – additional information

By definition, a man-made disaster or catastrophe is an event which is instigated by humans, either intentionally or unintentionally. Man-made disasters include major fires, explosions, aviation, rail and maritime disasters, mining accidents, collapse of building or bridges, as well as social unrest or terrorism.

For 2017, a ranking was compiled of the global insured losses caused by man-made disasters, by category. It was revealed that major fires and explosions cost the global insurance industry 5.44 billion U.S. dollars in that year.

2014 marked a distressing year for aviation. On March 8, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route to Beijing. Four months later, the same airline lost another plane, flight MH17 which crashed in eastern Ukraine. And in December of 2013, AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed into the sea en route to Singapore. In 2014, global insured losses caused by aviation disasters amounted to 916 million U.S. dollars, up from 814 million U.S. dollars lost in 2013.

In a ranking of the most costly insurance losses worldwide from 1970 to 2017, only one man-made disaster is included in the top 20. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 2001, which resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people, caused insured losses of almost 26 billion U.S. dollars. This total ranked the disaster as the eighth most costly in the stated time period. In comparison, the insured losses caused by Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,833 people when it hit Louisiana, New Orleans, Florida and Cuba in August 2005, amounted to 82.39 billion U.S. dollars.

Insured losses caused by man-made catastrophes worldwide from 1990 to 2019

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

1990, 1995, 2000 to 2019

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Statistics on "Catastrophe losses of the insurance industry"

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