Catastrophes Cost $70 Billion in '07: Swiss Re

Economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes in 2007 were more than $70 billion, with insurers hit by claims amounting to $28 billion, according to research released on Tuesday by Swiss Re, the world's largest reinsurer.

Europe was hit hard by the Kyrill storm in January, which caused insured losses of $6.1 billion across Germany, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The summer floods in Britain caused a further $4.8 billion in insurance claims, said Swiss Re.

The United States emerged unscathed from major hurricanes.

The most expensive event was an April windstorm, which cost insurers $1.6 billion.

The most lethal disaster was Cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in November, causing 4,234 deaths.

Swiss Re said higher catastrophe claims were expected going forward, particularly from floods.