Disasters cost insurers $54 billion, economy $175 billion in 2016: Swiss Re

Two children play with a wheelchair in a street after Hurricane Matthew in Damassins

ZURICH (Reuters) – Disasters cost insurers $54 billion in 2016 and created total economic losses of $175 billion, reinsurer Swiss Re said in a revised study on Tuesday.

“The losses in 2016 – both economic and insured – were the highest since 2012 and reversed the downtrend of the last four years,” the world’s second-largest reinsurer said.

The group said natural catastrophes and man-made disasters claimed 11,000 lives last year.

The figures showed an increase on initial estimates provided by the group in mid-December, which placed financial losses above $158 billion and insured losses at $49 billion at least.

In its annual natural catastrophe review released in early January, Munich Re said insurers paid out around $50 billion for natural disaster claims last year.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields)