Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, two earthquakes in quick succession in Mexico, Cyclone Debbie which devastated parts of Australia and New Zealand, and the wildfires that caused havoc across California – 2017 was quite the year. A record-breaking one, in fact.
That is according to Munich Re, the reinsurance giant, which has today stated that insurers will have to pay out US$135 billion (around £99.68 billion) in insured losses for the year.
In its annual catastrophe review it said that last year’s total losses, including those that are not insured, actually reached US$330 million – which in itself is the second worst in history. The worst on record, according to a Reuters
report, was 2011 when a shocking tsunami and earthquake caused devastation in Japan.
To make matters worse, Munich Re predicts that extreme weather events will occur more frequently in the near future even though individual events cannot be directly linked to climate change.
“We have a new normal,” said Ernst Rauch, head of Munich Re’s Corporate Climate Centre, as quoted by Reuters.
“2017 was not an outlier,” he said, highlighting that insured losses have actually shot over the $100 billion marker several times since 2005. “We must have on our radar the trend of new magnitudes.”
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