Record $144bn insured losses from disasters last year – report

A Swiss reinsurance company has said insured losses worldwide from disasters reached a record $144 billion last year – the highest on record. In an annual study released on Tuesday, Swiss Re said total losses from natural and man-made disasters hit $337 billion in 2017 – twice as high as the year before, and second only to 2011. Much of the economic damage was caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which struck the Caribbean and the United States. Together, the three storms accounted for insured losses of $92 billion in 2005, the second costliest North Atlantic hurricane season after 2005. Wildfires also caused significant economic damage, with insured losses running to $14 billion, AP said.