Insured losses from major natural catastrophes came in at approximately $71.5 billion in 2018, Willis Re estimated Jan. 16.
The reinsurance division of Willis Towers Watson noted that insured losses in 2018 were slightly higher than the annual average of $65.6 billion since 2011, and the third-largest total during the eight-year period, after $143 billion in 2017 and $120 billion in 2011. The insured loss estimate is lower than the figures of $81 billion and $80 billion, respectively, by reinsurers Swiss Re and Munich Re.
Willis Re noted that unlike prior peak years, insured losses in 2018 were from a series of smaller and medium-sized loss events, as opposed to one or two natural disasters contributing a large percentage of the total.
The largest single insured loss was the Camp Fire in California, which will cause between $6.0 billion and $10.75 billion in insured losses. The likely combined losses from the Carr, Mendocino, Camp and Woolsey wildfires will range from $15 billion to $17 billion, the broker estimated.
The insured loss range for Hurricane Michael is between $6.0 billion and $10.0 billion, while Typhoon Jebi in Japan caused an estimated $8.5 billion of insured losses. The largest European loss was winter storm Friederike, which caused insured losses of about $2.0 billion. No single major insured loss from natural disasters occurred in Latin America or the Caribbean.