1-in-100 cat forecast: $200B

Via Bob Bear, I see AIR calls the 2011 year cat losses, in essence, bad but not that unusual.

In case the fog of that year hasn’t quite lifted: Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, tornadoes in the United States, a hurricane in Australia, floods in Thailand caused $110B in insured losses. Oh, and there was a tsunami.

But by AIR’s reckoning, 2011 is a 1-in-15 year (exceedence probability 6.7%). One year in 100, the cat modeling firm says in this report, expect $206B in cat losses. The average annual aggregate loss is $59B worldwide.

I emphasize these are annual losses, not losses from a single occurrence, and that the loss estimates are worldwide.

But AIR gives this table, which models industry losses worldwide and by region:

AIR table Pretty clear the heavy exposure is in North America, particularly the United States.

To cheer you a bit more, AIR pulls up three loss scenarios that hit the 1% worldwide aggregate.

Scenario 1 is what you’d expect – the big storm hits Florida. In fact it hits Miami and Tampa, oozes into the Gulf then returns to traverse the state west-to-east, going back into the Atlantic near Cape Canaveral. That one sets the industry back $158B, in AIR’s estimation.

That same year, Houston/Galveston gets hit with an $11B storm. Worldwide miscellany take the annual toll above $200B.

Scenario 2 includes a less nasty Florida hurricane (just $78B), a more nasty Texas hurricane ($34B), a monster European winter storm ($14B) and a $10B UK flood. Other unpleasantries bring the annual total above $200B.

And Scenario 3: The big quake hits Tokyo ($114B), another quake hits Chile ($35B), and a third strikes Turkey ($14B). Again some (relatively) small stuff makes up the remainder.

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