Asia's Disaster Losses at $52bn
A Kashmiri family stand on the roof of their flooded house as they wait to be rescued in Srinagar, India, in September 2014. Reuters

Asia suffered the highest economic loss from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2014, according to a report.

A cyclone in India, an earthquake in China and monsoon floods in India and Pakistan killed over 7,000 people across Asia last year.

The damage wrought by the calamities stood at $52bn (£35.6bn, €49bn), according to the latest sigma study by reinsurer Swiss Re on "Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2014".

Globally, total economic losses from all disaster events stood at $110bn in 2014, suggesting that Asia accounted for 47% of total global losses.

Protection gap

Only $5.2bn worth of losses were insured in Asia in 2014, the study noted, suggesting there remains a huge protection gap in several Asian economies.

Economic development, population growth, high concentration of assets in exposed areas and changing climate are increasing the economic cost of natural disasters.

Those, if not accompanied by an adequate increase in insurance penetration, will likely result in a widening protection gap over the long term, the Swiss Re study noted.

Insured losses drop

Meanwhile, global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters stood at $35bn in 2014, down from $44bn in 2013 and well below the $64bn average of the preceding 10 years.

About 12,700 people were killed in all disaster events in 2014, down from as many as 27,000 in 2013, making it one of the lowest numbers ever recorded in a single year.

Improvements in early warning systems and emergency preparedness resulted in fewer victims than otherwise may have been.

Swiss Re is the world's second-biggest reinsurer.