The earthquake that shook Christchurch in February, causing extensive damage and the loss of more than 200 lives was the second-most-expensive disaster for insurers in 2011.
The 6.3 aftershock that devastated parts of Christchurch, including the CBD, at 12h51 on Tuesday, 22 February cost insurers $13 billion while overall losses came to $16 billion according to the NZ Herald.
2011 has gone down as the most expensive year for insurers with insured loses of $105 billion, exceeding claims for losses of $101 billion in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, while the total economic cost of natural disasters in 2011 was $380 billion, up from the previous high of 2005 at $220 billion.
The NZ Herald reports that Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March caused overall losses of US$210 billion and insured losses of between US$35 billion and US$40 billion, excluding the subsequent meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
2011's third-costliest disaster for insurers was Thailand's worst flooding in half a century, which began in late July and continued for months, with insured losses of $10 billion and estimated total loses in the region of $40 billion.