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Disaster-linked losses in 2018 hit $155 billion: Swiss Re

Posted Dec 18, 2018 by AFP
Losses from natural and man-made disasters are estimated to total $155 billion (136 billion euros) this year, down sharply from a hurricane-plagued 2017, the reinsurance giant Swiss Re said Tuesday.
In this photo taken on November 8  2018 a home is overshadowed by towering smoke plumes as the Camp ...
In this photo taken on November 8, 2018 a home is overshadowed by towering smoke plumes as the Camp fire races through town in Paradise, California
Josh Edelson, AFP/File

Losses from natural and man-made disasters are estimated to total $155 billion (136 billion euros) this year, down sharply from a hurricane-plagued 2017, the reinsurance giant Swiss Re said Tuesday.

The trio of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma last year pushed losses to $350 billion, but Swiss Re noted that a "number of smaller and mid-sized events, alongside some major man-made disasters" in 2018 were still cause for serious concern.

Events this year "highlight the increasing vulnerability of the ever-growing concentration of humans and property values on coastlines and in the urban-wildlife interface."

Overall, the figures served as a reminder that "extreme weather conditions can quickly turn into catastrophe," the company said.

Among the major events causing damage this year were hurricanes Michael and Florence, a series of typhoons in Asia and the recent California wildfires.

Roughly half of all losses recorded this year were covered by insurance, Swiss Re said.