9/11, Katrina, H1N1 top insurer’s list of “Top Ten Mega Disasters” from past decade: Zurich

Zurich risk prevention specialists share key lessons learned, practices for loss mitigation

Schaumburg, Ill., September 20, 2010 – Terrorist attacks, hurricanes, and pandemic risks top the list of “Top Ten Mega Disasters” of the past decade, released today by Zurich, one of the largest property and casualty insurers globally and in North America.

The mega disasters, which were selected by Zurich based on loss of lives, overall business impact, and the geographic scope and duration of the crises. The mega disasters ranked chronologically, are:

  1. 9/11 � 2001
  2. SARS � 2003
  3. 2003 U.S. / Canada power outage � 2003
  4. 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami � 2004
  5. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma � 2005
  6. Financial crisis � 2008
  7. China earthquake � 2008
  8. H1N1 pandemic � 2009
  9. Iceland volcano � 2010
  10. Floods in Europe and Pakistan � 2010

The list is being released ahead of the REBEX 2010, Regional Risk Management Conference & Exhibition, which will be held on Sept. 21, 2010 in Wheeling, Ill. At REBEX, Zurich risk prevention specialists will present 10 lessons learned from the “Top Ten Mega Disasters” in an effort to help risk managers strengthen their business risk prevention plans to prepare for future crises.

“Zurich believes strongly that planning ahead for the unexpected is a critical component of any risk management program,” said Vic Gordon, head of Risk Prevention Technical Services, Zurich Services Corporation. “Quite apart from the human and emotional toll, as we’ve learned from the tragedies on this list and others, a mega disaster can strike without warning and without precedent, and the impact to businesses in affected industries is usually immediate.”

Gordon will be joined at REBEX by Ashutosh Riswadkar, line of business director for risk prevention and management, Zurich Services Corporation for the session “Mega Disasters! Top Ten Lessons Learned.” Media interested in attending the event should contact Jennifer Nowacki, media and public relations manager, Zurich, at (847) 605-6511.

About Zurich

Zurich in North America is a part of Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich), an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Founded in 1872, the Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and employs approximately 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries, including more than 9,500 employees in North America.

Zurich entered the U.S. market in 1912. According to Highline Data LLC (NAIC 2008), Zurich in North America (www.zurichna.com) is the second-largest writer of commercial general liability insurance and the fourth-largest commercial property-casualty insurance company, serving the global corporate, large corporate, middle market, specialties and programs sectors. Zurich’s risk engineering services in the United States are provided by Zurich Services Corporation.