US$79bn of global insured disaster losses in 2018, says Swiss Re

December 27 2018 by InsuranceAsia News Staff

Swiss Re has preliminary estimated that natural catastrophes and man-made disasters will cost insurers and reinsurers around US$79 billion in 2018, the fourth highest annual market loss on its Sigma records.

Of the $79 billion, Swiss Re estimates that natural catastrophes will drive US$71 billion of the loss to insurance and reinsurance interests, with man-made disasters the other US$8 billion.

After a relatively benign first half of the year, the market has been significantly affected by a host of natural disasters in the third and fourth quarters of the year. A flurry of typhoons in Japan, record breaking costly wildfires in California (between US$9 billion and US$13 billion of claims), Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael have contributed significantly to the total.

Aon estimated that first half global insured losses were US$21 billion.

Economic losses are estimated to have cost governments, companies and individuals around US$155 billion with the balance between US$79 billion uninsured. 2017 was a record year of nat cat claims for the market after typhoons Harvey, Irma and Maria slammed the Caribbean and the US costing over US$90 billion out of a total of over US$140 billion.

The 2018 estimate doesn’t include the recent devastation following an eruption from volcano Anak Krakatau in Indonesia. More than 430 people have been killed after huge waves crashed suddenly on to shores adjacent to the Sunda Strait. Almost 1,500 people are missing while 22,000 have been displaced from their homes.

It also doesn’t include the a huge hailstorm in Sydney in late December, which has cost insurers over US$200 million in claims.

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