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Global insured losses reached $54B in 2016, Swiss Re says

Total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached $175 billion in 2016, nearly double the total of $94 billion in 2015, according to Swiss Re Ltd.'s latest sigma study.

Global insured losses from disasters were $54 billion in 2016, rising from $38 billion in the previous year.

Earthquakes, storms, flood events and wildfires caused extensive damage across many regions in 2016. Globally there were 327 disaster events during the year, of which 191 were natural catastrophes and 136 were man-made.

Asia was hit with the most disaster events, which totaled 128, and brought about economic losses of approximately $60 billion. The earthquake on Kyushu Island, Japan in April 2016 caused the heaviest economic losses, estimated to be between $25 billion and $30 billion.

North America accounted for more than half the global insured losses in 2016, mainly a result of several severe convective storm events in the U.S. The costliest was a hailstorm that struck Texas in April 2016, resulting in economic losses of $3.5 billion, of which $3 billion were insured.

In Canada, a wildfire that hit Alberta and Saskatchewan from May to July 2016 turned out to be the country's biggest insurance loss event ever. Overall economic losses from the fires were $4 billion, of which almost $2.8 billion were covered by insurance.

In Europe, thunderstorms, torrential rain and flooding hit France, southern and central Germany and Belgium, causing combined economic losses of $3.9 billion, and insured losses of $2.9 billion.