The costliest natural catastrophes occurred in the United States in 2018 with one of California’s devastating wildfires and Hurricane Michael topping the list, according to Munich Re.
A report from Munich Re on last year’s natural disasters pointed to “clear indications” that man-made climate change is a factor in California’s wildfires.
Breaking down the losses, Munich Re said northern California’s November wildfire, known as “Camp Fire,” had overall losses of US$16.5 billion and insured losses of US$12.5 billion, while Hurricane Michael had overall losses of US$16 billion and insured losses of US$10 billion.
In total last year’s natural catastrophes racked up an overall global price tag of US$160 billion, said the reinsurer, noting that only half these economic losses were insured. The 2018 losses were below 2017’s significant loss total of US$350 billion, due mainly to record hurricane losses.
Last year’s insured losses of $80 billion were substantially above the inflation-adjusted average for the last 30 years (US$41 billion), but below 2017’s record figures of US$140 billion, said the reinsurer.
Munich Re said California saw its worst-ever wildfire season – for the second year running – with the state’s wildfires contributing US$24 billion to the overall 2018 natural catastrophe loss burden with US$18 billion of the total wildfire price tag covered by insurance.,,,,