The cost of global natural disasters for the Swiss reinsurance giant Swiss Re reached 115 billion dollars (110 billion euros) in the first eleven months of 2022, weighed down by Hurricane Ian, the group announced on Thursday.
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Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to hit the United States and which also caused extensive damage in Cuba a few weeks ago, alone generated approximately half of the insured losses, for an amount estimated between 50 and 65 billion dollars, according to a press release from the Swiss reinsurer.
According to Swiss Re, which acts as insurer for insurers, Hurricane Ian has thus become the most expensive natural disaster since Hurricane Katarina in 2005. "
Hurricane Ian combined with other extreme weather events such as winter storms in Europe, floods in Australia and South Africa, as well as hailstorms in France and the United States represent losses estimated at 115 billion dollars since the beginning of the year
“, said the press release.
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2022 is the second consecutive year in which total insured losses exceeded 100 billion dollars, thus continuing the trend of the past ten years, which is marked by an average annual increase of 5 to 7%.
Urban development, the accumulation of wealth in disaster-prone areas, inflation and climate change are key factors, which turn extreme weather into ever-increasing losses
,” explained Martin Bertogg, head of disaster risk at Swiss Re, quoted in the press release.
When Hurricane Andrew hit 30 years ago, a $20 billion loss event had never happened before;
today there have been seven such hurricanes in the past six years alone
,” he added.
According to Swiss Re, so-called minor disasters, such as floods and storms, as opposed to major catastrophes such as earthquakes, caused more than $50 billion in insured losses.