Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria played significant part in tipping the scales

Today, 2017 has been deemed the costliest year on record for weather disasters, with a global economic loss of $344bn.

According to Aon Benfield’s annual report – Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2017 – there were 330 natural catastrophe events in 2017 and these generated a staggering $353bn. Of this sum, 97% ($344bn) was due to weather-related events.

Hurricane Harvey was the costliest event, with an estimated $100bn in economic losses and an estimated $30bn in insured losses. This was followed by Hurricane Maria, which has estimated economic and insured losses of $65bn and $27bn respectively. Hurricane Irma is third on the list with estimated economic and insured losses of %55bn and $23bn respectively.

Aon Benfield chief executive Eric Andersen commented on the resilience of the reinsurance industry, saying: “While 2017 was an expensive year for the insurance industry, the reinsurance market had an estimated $600bn in available capital to withstand the high volume of payouts. Most critically, the US weather and wildfire events in particular have demonstrated the value of reinsurance, with claims being paid in an average of eight days to augment the recovery process.”