Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2017: a year of record-breaking losses

At USD 144 billion, the insured losses from natural and man-made disasters worldwide in 2017 were the highest ever recorded in a single year. The main driver of the high insured losses was an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic. In particular, three major hurricanes -- Harvey, Irma and Maria left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico, Texas and parts of western Florida. In other major disasters, wildfires ravaged parts of California in particular, as well as regions outside of the US. There were also a number of severe precipitation events in 2017, in different regions. Total economic losses from disaster events were USD 337 billion in 2017, leaving a protection gap of USD 193 billion, up from USD 124 billion in 2016.