The 1970s were marked by numerous expensive natural catastrophes
– cyclone Tracy in Darwin, Australia,
earthquakes in California and Central America and the Capella gale
in Western Europe to name but a few. Munich Re reacted by carrying
out detailed research into natural catastrophes with a view to
managing the risks professionally. The
“Joint Office for Natural
Hazards” was formed with a team comprising
engineers, meteorologists and geophysicists
– today’s Geo Risks
Research unit. With the arrival of electronic data collection,
services and tools were created, such as the Globe of Natural
Hazards, the NatCatSERVICE and Nathan, which are now key tools in
Munich Re’s marketing was also
restructured in the 1970s, with a standard worldwide corporate
design and a new logo giving the company an unmistakable image.
1970 – New offices in Australia
A business unit is opened in Sydney, Australia. The engineering
contact office in Caracas, Venezuela is upgraded to a business
1971 – Alois Alzheimer Foundation
The foundation to provide support for the Bavarian National Museum
is established on the occasion of Dr. Alois
Alzheimer’s 70th birthday.
1972 – Manila
A business unit is established in Manila.
1973 – A standard worldwide
Anton Stankowski, one of the great designers and representatives
of constructive-concrete post-war art, designs Munich
Re’s new logo. The
logo’s linear structure on a square field
of parallel lines depicts the relationship between work and
enterprise. It stands for connection and exchange, partnership and
interaction, reciprocity and trust, development and order, safety
and solidarity, and size and differentiation. The logo is
introduced worldwide on 1 January.
1974 – Founding of GeoRisks
The number of natural catastrophes is rising rapidly. The
“Joint Office for Natural
Hazards” is set up. Under its later name of
Geo Risks Research, it soon becomes an indispensable resource for
politicians, scientists, industrialists and insurers worldwide.
1976 – Singapore
A business unit is opened in Singapore.
1976 –The Capella
In a gale that sweeps across Germany and Western Europe on 3
January, a ship, the Capella, sinks and 11 lives are lost. The
total loss is DM 3bn, of which DM 1.2bn is insured. The cost for
Munich Re is DM 175m.
1979 – Venturing into
Space insurance comes into being. Due to the multi-line nature of
spatial risks, an internal pool, the
“RATE”, is created
for space technology.
1981 – Taiwan
A business unit is opened in Taipei.
1984 – The Munich
On 12 July, the greatest loss event in the history of the German
insurance industry and one of the largest in Munich
Re’s history occurs: the Munich hailstorm.
The economic damage totals DM 3bn, the insured loss DM 1.5bn. The
total cost for Munich Re amounts to DM 166m.
1985 – Mexico City
On 19 September, the largest city in the world is jolted by an
earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale and a 7.5
magnitude aftershock the following day. 10,000 people are killed. A
third of the city is reduced to rubble. The economic loss is
estimated at US$ 4bn, the insured loss at US$ 275m. Mexico
City’s earthquake is the largest earthquake
loss since the 1923 quake in Tokyo and one of the greatest claims
burdens for the company since it was founded.
1989 – Number of offices abroad
rises to 65
New offices are opened in Seoul and Athens. Munich Re now has 65
offices outside Germany.
1989 – Hurricane Hugo
In September, Hurricane Hugo ravages the Caribbean and the USA.
The insured loss is estimated at DM 7.5m and the cost for Munich Re
is DM 250m.