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Natural catastrophe losses top $120 million again in 2022

Hurricane Ian

Natural disasters in 2022 caused $125 billion in insured losses, driven largely by Hurricane Ian, which caused some $50 billion to $60 billion in losses, or nearly half of the total, according to a report Wednesday from Swiss Re Ltd.

It was the second consecutive year in which insured losses topped $120 million.

Man-made catastrophes added another $7 billion in insured losses, Swiss Re said.

Overall global economic losses from catastrophes totaled $275 billion in 2022, according to the report.

The 2022 figures compare with $121 million in natural catastrophe losses in 2021, $9 billion in man-made cats and $303 billion in total economic losses.

The catastrophe losses combined with other factors, such as inflation and financial market losses to fuel further reinsurance market hardening, according to the reinsurer.

“The (insurance and reinsurance) rate gains of recent years coincide with a trend period of heightened natural catastrophe activity and elevated losses that started in 2017. The 2022 insured loss outcome reaffirms a 5‒7% annual growth trend in place since 1992,” the report said.

Rates will likely continue to increase based on demand for coverage, inflation and reduced industry capital, Swiss Re said.