As Costa Rica sends rescue teams to an area hit yesterday by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake, risk modelers have more natural catastrophe data to contend with: flood loss. Flood losses are on a rapid upswing, according to a report issued today by Swiss Re. Affecting an estimated 500 million people worldwide annually, the increase in flood-related claims has been significant, notes Swiss Re’s new report, “Flood - an Underestimated Risk: Inspect, Inform, Insure.”

According to Swiss Re’s data, in the 1970s annual flood-only related claims were $1-2 billion; in 2011, insured flood losses amounted to $15 billion.

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