Pure disasters will price insurers $ 120 billion in 2021: Munich Re | Enterprise insurance – business insurance

(Reuters) – Marked by devastating hurricanes and cold spells in the US, 2021 was the second most expensive year on record for insurers around the world, Munich Re said on Monday, warning that extreme weather conditions were more likely with climate change.

Insured losses from natural catastrophes totaled around US $ 120 billion last year, second only to losses of US $ 146 billion in the 2017 hurricane year.

The annual balance sheet of Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, is above an estimate of 105 billion US dollars, which the competitor Swiss Re published last month.

The US, which was devastated by dozens of tornadoes in December and by Hurricane Ida and Frost in Texas earlier this year, was responsible for an unusually large portion of the damage, Munich Re said.

“The images of natural disasters in 2021 are disturbing. Climate research is increasingly confirming that extreme weather conditions have become more likely, ”said Torsten Jeworrek, member of the Munich Re Board of Management.

As in previous years, almost 10,000 people died from natural disasters. Total losses, including uninsured, were $ 280 billion, the fourth highest on record.

Hurricane Ida, which stretched from New Orleans to New York, resulted in insured losses of $ 36 billion. The winter storm, which mainly hit Texas, caused around $ 15 billion in damage. Floods in Germany also cost billions.

"The disaster statistics for 2021 stand out because some of the extreme weather events are of the kind that are likely to become more frequent or more severe due to climate change," said Ernst Rauch, chief climate and geoscientist at Munich Re.

Many scientists agree that events in 2021 have been made worse by climate change, and that more – and worse – will come as the Earth's atmosphere continues to warm over the next decade and beyond.

The most expensive year on record was 2017 with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Other difficult years were 2011, when major earthquakes struck Japan and New Zealand, and 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

In some cases, due to the increasing likelihood of a catastrophe, insurers have increased their tariffs and in some cases discontinued coverage.

As insurers warn of climate change and the associated costs, they themselves are under pressure from activists to stop insuring some industries.

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