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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Hurricane Ida and a winter storm that brought freezing temperatures to Texas made 2021 one of the costliest years on record for insurers, Swiss Re reported on December 14.
Insured losses from natural catastrophes totaled $105 billion this year, the fourth-highest since reinsurer Swiss Re began keeping records in 1970.
“Natural catastrophe losses are likely to continue to grow more than global GDP given increases in wealth, urbanization and climate change,” Swiss Re said in a statement with its annual tally.
More than 10,000 people were killed or are still missing as a result of this year’s natural disasters, Swiss Re said.
Hurricane Ida, where damage stretched from New Orleans to New York, resulted in $30-$32 billion in insured losses. Winter storm Uri, which primarily hit Texas, resulted in $15 billion in losses.
Floods in Germany and surrounding countries resulted in $13 billion in insured damages.
The costliest year on record was 2017, with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. That was followed by 2011, when big earthquakes hit Japan and New Zealand, and 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.
Insurers have in same cases been raising the rates they charge as a result of the increasingly likelihood of disasters, and in some places they have stopped providing coverage.