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Munich Re Says 60% of Last Year's $210 Billion Natural-Disaster Losses Were Uninsured

By Olivia Bugault

 

Natural catastrophes such as floods and storms caused losses of $210 billion world-wide in the last year, with a record hurricane season and major wildfires, reinsurer Munich Re said Thursday.

Around 60% of the overall losses caused by natural catastrophe were uninsured in 2020, and cost some 8,200 lives, the company said. Financial losses were significantly higher than the previous year when natural catastrophes cost $166 billion, Munich Re said.

North America suffered the most damages as the U.S. was hit by historic wildfires in the West while Hurricane Laura, the most destructive event in the country last year, caused $13 billion in losses alone. Natural disasters in the U.S. accounted for $95 billion of overall losses last year, compared with $51 billion in 2019, Munich Re said.

"In Asia, losses from natural disasters were lower than in the previous year, although summer floods in China represented the costliest individual event world-wide," Munich Re said. Losses in Asia amounted to $67 billion overall compared with $77 billion in 2019.

Europe suffered from fewer major natural disasters and losses came to $12 billion in total in 2020, the company said.

Munich Re said 2020 was another hot year and could be the second warmest year on record, with a notably sharp rise in temperatures in the Arctic Circle.

 

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 07, 2021 06:17 ET (11:17 GMT)

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