Swiss Re examines total global economic loss from 2017 catastrophes

Swiss Re examines total global economic loss from 2017 catastrophes | Insurance Business

Swiss Re examines total global economic loss from 2017 catastrophes

Back in December, reinsurance heavyweight Swiss Re published estimates for total economic losses and insured losses worldwide from 2017’s disaster events – now final numbers are out and they paint an even worse picture of the year that was.

From the preliminary figure of US$306 billion for total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters, we see a jump to US$337 billion – a near doubling of 2016’s total losses of US$188 billion. As for global insured losses from catastrophes, the value reached US$144 billion, which is also higher than the December estimate of US$136 billion.

According to the latest sigma study from the Swiss Re Institute, 2017’s global insured losses from catastrophes represent the highest ever recorded in a single year, largely thanks to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria’s (HIM) combined insured losses of US$92 billion.

“A key takeaway from HIM is that insurers need to consider multiple hurricanes occurring in a given year, as much as the severity of individual events, in their modelling of hurricane risk,” said Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophe perils at Swiss Re. “This is important from a risk management perspective as it will help insurers – and, ultimately society – be better prepared for similar magnitude events in the future.”

Meanwhile the world’s wildfires also broke records in 2017, with Swiss Re noting US$14 billion – the highest ever in a single year – in combined insurance losses.  

 

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