Swiss Re: Total Economic, Insured Losses From Disasters Rose in 2017

By Sonia Amaral RohterFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters rose sharply in 2017 partly due to hurricanes and wildfires, Swiss Re AG (SREN.EB) said Wednesday, with insured losses for the industry more than doubling.

Swiss Re estimates that total economic losses reached $306 billion in 2017, a 63% increase over 2016, based on Swiss Re's preliminary data. Global insured losses from catastrophes in 2017 are estimated to be $136 billion, the company says, the third-highest on the company's records. The 2017 figure compares with $65 billion the prior year and is well above the ten-year average of $58 billion.

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Swiss Re cites extreme weather in the U.S. during the second half of the year as the main cause of the increase, noting that disaster losses in the first half were below the same period of 2016 and below the six-month average for the previous ten years.

The impact of three hurricanes--Harvey, Irma and Maria--and wildfires in California played a particularly significant role, Swiss Re said.

World-wide, more than 11,000 people died or went missing in disaster events in 2017, similar to 2016, Swiss Re said.

Write to Sonia Amaral Rohter at sonia.amaralrohter@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 20, 2017 05:30 ET (10:30 GMT)