MUNICH Re: 2017 NatCat claims reached a record of USD 135 billion

The global re/insurance industry has to pay "a record bill" of USD 135 billion after the last year's NatCat events, according to an overview of natural catastrophes in 2017 published by the German reinsurer MUNICH Re.

"The hurricane trio of Harvey, Irma and Maria will cost the insurance industry a record amount in 2017: the final insurance bill for those and other natural catastrophes, including a severe earthquake in Mexico, is expected to come to USD 135 billion - higher than ever before".

At the same time, the overall losses (including uninsured losses), amounted to USD 330 billion, the second-highest figure ever recorded for natural disasters. "The only costlier year so far was 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake in Japan contributed to overall losses of USD 354 billion in today's dollars".

MUNICH Re representatives pointed out that the overall loss figure of USD 330 billion, for all types of natural disaster, was almost double the ten-year, inflation-adjusted average of USD 170 billion, while losses from weather-related natural catastrophes set a new record. "Insured losses were almost three times higher than the average of USD 49 billion".

MUNICH Re statistics identified a total of 710 relevant natural catastrophes, which was also significantly more than the average of 605.

At the same time, approximately 10,000 people lost their lives in natural disasters, "which is a slightly higher figure to last year's, but at least much lower than the ten-year average of 60,000".

MUNICH Re Report notes that the US share of losses in 2017 was even larger than usual: 50% as compared to the long-term average of 32%. "When considering North America as a whole, the share rises to 83%".

In fact, this region has been marked by the most costly natural catastrophes: Hurricane Harvey - the costliest natural disaster of 2017 (overall losses of around USD 85 billion) and Hurricane Irma - the costliest natural disaster for insurers in 2017 (insured losses of around USD 32 billion).

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