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Swiss Re sees $136 billion in insured losses from disasters in 2017

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(Reuters) — Swiss Re Ltd. estimates that global insured losses from catastrophes in 2017 will hit $136 billion, the third-highest on record for the sector, with the United States hardest hit, it said on Wednesday.

Total economic losses from natural and man-made disasters in 2017 are estimated to be $306 billion, up from $188 billion in 2016, Swiss Re said in a statement, quoting preliminary data.

“The accumulation of economic and insured losses ramped up in the second half of the year, due primarily to the three hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – that hit the U.S. and the Caribbean, and wildfires in California,” Swiss Re said.

More than 11,000 people had died or gone missing in disaster events this year, the world's second-biggest reinsurer said. ‍​

Based on 2017 values, the costliest year for insured catastrophe losses was 2011, when Japan and New Zealand were hit by earthquakes and Thailand suffered severe flooding, and the second most costly was 2005, when hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, Florida and the southeast.