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2017 Natural Catastrophe Losses to Insurers: $135 B

Saturday, March 10, 2018  

Exacerbated by a torrent of North American hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, global insurance claims for 2017 are expected to hit approximately $135 billion, according to Munich Re.

In its recently released annual natural catastrophe report, the German reinsurer said the 2017 claims total was the highest payout ever. The company’s assessment of total losses globally – including uninsured losses – amounted to $330 billion, second only to 2011, when Japan was hit with an earthquake and tsunami.

Global warming, the reinsurer noted, has had a hand in rising claims amounts. Ernst Rauch, head of Munich Re’s Corporate Climate Center, told Reuters the industry is experiencing “a new normal. 2017 was not an outlier.” He said annual insured losses have exceeded $100 billion many times since 2005.

Last year’s hurricane disasters in the U.S. and Caribbean, along with wildfires in California and earthquakes in Mexico, triggered earlier profit warnings from both Munich Re and Hannover Re, another global reinsurer.

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