Chennai floods caused economic loss of $2.2 bn: Study

Chennai, March 30 (IANS) The floods in Chennai last year caused an economic loss of $2.2 billion, out of India’s total economic loss of $6.2 billion suffered due to disasters in 2015, says a study by reinsurance company Swiss Re.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Swiss Re said the total economic losses suffered by India due to all disasters — natural and man-made — was down to $6.2 billion in 2015 from $13.4 billion in 2014.

According to the study, the insured losses due to the Chennai floods were estimated at $755 million, making these floods the second costliest insurance event in India on sigma records.

A large part of the losses originated from commercial lines. The event highlighted the vulnerability of rapidly growing urban areas to flash floods caused by heavy rains, the statement said.

According to the study, uninsured losses from all catastrophes were 84 percent of total losses in 2015 down from 93 percent in 2014.

“Although the protection gap was smaller last year than in 2014, it was still high relative to global and regional standards. The global protection gap was around 60 percent in 2015, down from 68 percent in 2014. In Asia, the gap was at 81 percent in 2015, down from 90 percent in 2014,” the study said.

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