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Cat bonds post record $10.5 billion in 2017

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Catastrophe bond issuance for 2017 set a yearly record at $10.5 billion, piercing the $10 billion mark for the first time as it increased 88% from 2016’s $4.5 billion, according to a new report from Property Claims Services.

The PCS Q4 2017 Catastrophe Bond Report shows 2017 with 36 transactions, compared with 20 in 2016. The record yearly issuance also bested the previous high of $7.8 billion in 2014 by 33%, according to Jersey City, New Jersey-based PCS, a unit of Verisk Analytics Inc.

North American issuance saw 32 transactions worth $9.4 billion in 2017 compared with 17 transactions worth $4.5 billion in 2016, the report said.

Average transaction size rose 3.6% to $290 million, according to the report.

The year also saw 15 “cat bond lites” — private and other nonregistered and regulated transactions — worth $560 million, the report said, up from $420 million in 2016 and $490 million in 2015.

PCS also included information about losses in the cyber arena. The report identified four cyber events in 2017 — including the massive Equifax breach — accounting for some $500 million in insured cyber losses, according to the company’s PCS Global Cyber loss aggregation.