The cost of natural disasters has doubled for the year 2017

Photo: Hector Retamal Agence FRance-Presse
Hurricane “Maria” has had devastating effects in Puerto Rico, destroying everything in its path.

Frankfurt — natural catastrophes have caused in 2017 significantly more damage than during the previous five years, with a share of insured reaching a record high, announced on Thursday that the German reinsurer Munich Re.


In the past year, natural disasters have caused to 330 billion dollars in damage, almost double the number of 2016 (usd 175 billion) and the balance sheet of the highest in the history after the year 2011 (354 billion), details the number 2 in the sector in a study.


On these 330 billion, primarily related to hurricanes and a major earthquake in Mexico, “damage records” of $ 135 billion had to be covered by insurance, says the reinsurer.


Natural disasters have also resulted in the death of 10 000 people last year, barely more than in 2016 (9650 dead), but well below the average of the last ten years, which amounted to 60 000 victims per year.


More weather events


In total, approximately 710 weather events or geological extremes have been identified in 2017, a result distinctly superior to the 605 events recorded on average over the same period.


Munich Re puts forward including the disasters that have befallen the United States, which have concentrated half of all reported damage, much more than the average of about one-third recognized over the long term.


Storm Harvey in the month of August, with its torrential rains on Texas, has caused alone is 85 billion dollars worth of damage.


The other hurricanes — Irma on the Florida ($32 billion dollars of damage) and then Maria in the Caribbean, as well as the wildfires in California are also identified by the study.


In Europe, the extremely cold temperatures in April have caused $ 3.6 billion of damage to agriculture, of which only 650 million covered by insurance.


In Asia, the monsoon of a rare intensity has caused the death of 2700 people and cost $ 3.5 billion.


Some of these disasters ” have given a taste of the future “, ” our experts expect to see more often these events occur “, even if some ” are not directly attributable to climate change “, commented Torsten Jeworrek, head of the branch reinsurance of Munich Re, was quoted in a press release.