Natural Disasters Set a Record $135 Billion in Claims in 2017

And this may be the new normal, according to one agency.
Natural Disasters Set a Record $135 Billion in Claims in 2017
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Hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes did a record amount of damage this past year, according to Munich Re, a German-based reinsurer.

According to Munich Re’s natural catastrophe review, the industry was hit with a record-high $135 billion bill. Overall losses, including the uninsured, topped $330 billion. 2017 was the second most costliest year in history behind 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake in caused $354 billion in today’s dollars.

The U.S. share of losses in 2017 was higher than average: 50 percent as compared to the long-term average of 32 percent.

Related: Staying on Course Despite the Ravages of Hurricane Maria

In a year that saw a frightening abundance of catastrophic events that destroyed property and lives, Hurricane Harvey was the costliest disaster of 2017, doing $85 billion in damages. Ernst Rauch, head of Munich Re’s Corporate Climate Center, which monitors risks, told Reuters he expects more frequent extreme events in years to come.

“We have a new normal,” he said. “2017 was not an outlier.”

Related: 5 Ways You Can Help Mexico After the Deadly Earthquake

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