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Swiss Re’s Cole Says Uninsured Disaster Losses Growing

Natural catastrophes are growing more costly and uninsured losses are increasing, according to David Cole, chief risk officer of Swiss Re Ltd.

“When they happen, they are more severe,” he said today at a presentation in Zurich. More losses occur because of increasing interconnectedness and urbanization, he said.

Swiss Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, estimates economic losses from disasters globally reached $130 billion last year. Only $44 billion of that was covered by insurance.

“Interconnectedness leads to more risks,” Cole said. “A lot of the risks continue to lie with the people who are sitting on it, literally.”

The relative size of the natural catastrophes from 1980 to 2012 has been growing at a “much higher rate” than the economy, he said.

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