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The cost of natural disasters in 2018: US$155 billion

This year was the fourth-costliest on record for the insurance industry despite a drop in total economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes.
Natural disasters cost $155 billion this year, and several of them struck the United States particularly hard. Hurricanes Michael and Florence, the California wildfires and Hawaii’s volcano eruption are all on the list of the most expensive global disasters of 2018, according to the Zurich-based reinsurance company Swiss Re.

However, global insured losses are estimated at around US$79 billion, higher than the annual average for the previous 10 years. Natural disasters accounted for US$71 billion in insured losses, while man-made disasters accounted for US$8 billion.

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,” Swiss Re said of its report. “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.

Read more The cost of natural disasters this year: $155 billion | Angela Fritz | The Washington Post
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