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Global insured losses for 2017 estimated at US$135 billion: Munich Re

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria account for much of the losses

Munich Re estimates that global insured losses for 2017 will total US$135 billion, due in large part to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and the earthquake in Mexico.

Total losses for the year are estimated to be US$330 billion—the second highest year on record.

Related: Global insured losses estimated to reach $US136 billion in 2017: Swiss Re

“This year’s extreme natural catastrophes show how important insurance is in absorbing financial losses in the wake of such disasters,” Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said in a news release.

Insured losses for the year were almost three times the average of US$49 billion. Fifty percent of the losses came from the U.S., a country that normally accounts for 32% of global insured losses.

Much of this was due to the hurricane season. Hurricane Harvey was the costliest natural disaster of 2017, with overall losses of US$85 billion. Irma was the costliest hurricane in terms of insured losses, which reached US$32 billion.

“For me, a key point is that some of the catastrophic events, such as the series of three extremely damaging hurricanes, or the very severe flooding in South Asia after extraordinarily heavy monsoon rains, are giving us a foretaste of what is to come,” Jeworrek said.

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