Swiss Re totals costs of disasters


The latest study from Swiss Re Institute has found that the global economic losses from natural and man-made disasters in 2017 were the second highest on record, an amount that totalled $337 billion. It also found that global insured losses from catastrophic events were the highest ever recorded in a single year, at $144 billion.

The damage caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused the highest losses, according to the Swiss Re sigma study, resulting in a combined insured loss of $92 billion. This made this the second costliest North Atlantic hurricane season ever, only being beaten by 2005. It was also a record year for wildfires, with the $14-billion combined insurance losses being the highest ever.

There were, according to the sigma criteria, less disasters in 2017, down to 301 from 2016’s figure of 329 – however, the events themselves were far more destructive. Over 11,000 people lost their lives or went missing in disaster events in 2017, and millions were also left homeless.