Amidst the continued hand-wringing over the lingering soft market and enduring economic doldrums, insurers took it on the chin in 2010 thanks to significant catastrophes and man-made disasters.

Initial estimates from Swiss Re’s sigma team found that worldwide economic losses from natural and man-made disasters were $222 billion in 2010—more than triple the $63 billion cost in 2009. The cost to the global insurance industry was $36 billion ($31 billion due to natural catastrophes and $5 billion due to man-made disasters), a figure that rose 34% from last year.

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