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Natural and man-made catastrophes caused an estimated $79 billion in global insured losses, according to a preliminary analysis issued Tuesday by Swiss Re Institute.
That is higher than the 10-year average of $71 billion in insured catastrophe damages, but 47% lower than 2017’s $150 billion. The Swiss Re Ltd. unit said natural catastrophes accounted for $71 billion of this year’s insured losses, with man-made disasters costing the remaining $8 billion.
“There has not been a singular major natural catastrophe event (such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria in 2017) in 2018,” said Swiss Re. “Nevertheless, the aggregated losses from a number of smaller and midsized events, alongside some major man-made disasters, have caused sizable overall insured losses. Like last year, the losses from the 2018 series of events highlight the increasing vulnerability of the ever-growing concentration of humans and property values on coastlines and in the urban-wildlife interface. The very presence of human and property assets in areas such as these means extreme weather conditions can quickly turn into catastrophe events in terms of losses inflicted.”
Swiss Re added that the loss estimates are preliminary and may be subject to change, as not all loss-generating events have been fully assessed yet.
American International Group Inc. pegged 2018 fourth-quarter catastrophe losses at between $750 million and $800 million to date on a pretax basis, according to CEO Brian Duperreault, speaking Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference in New York.