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Munich Re: Camp Fire costliest disaster of 2018; insured nat cat losses $80B

Total economic losses from natural disasters in 2018 amounted to $160 billion, with insured losses of $80 billion, according to a report by Munich Re Co.

Economic losses in 2017 were $350 billion, and insured losses represented $140 billion of that amount, or about 40%. The proportion of insured losses in 2018 was 50%.

The costliest single disaster in 2018 was November's Camp Fire in Northern California, which caused overall losses of $16.5 billion and insured losses of $12.5 billion. In total, California wildfires caused $24 billion of overall losses and $18 billion of insured losses.

"Such massive wildfires appear to be occurring more frequently as a result of climate change," Torsten Jeworrek, a management board member at Munich Re, said in a Jan. 8 statement.

Hurricane Michael, which hit the Southeastern U.S. in October, caused $16 billion of overall losses and insured losses of $10 billion. In Japan, Typhoon Jebi caused $12.5 billion of overall losses and about $9 billion of insured losses, while flooding in July caused $9.5 billion and $2.4 billion of total and insured losses, and two earthquakes led to $9 billion of total losses and $2 billion of insured losses.