Swiss Re says disasters cost world $140 billion in 2019

Insurer Swiss Re says losses from natural and man-made disasters cost about $140 billion this year, down from $176 billion in 2018

BERLIN -- Insurer Swiss Re says losses from natural and man-made disasters cost about $140 billion this year, down from $176 billion in 2018.

The Zurich-based reinsurance company said Thursday that its annual review found natural disasters such as tropical cyclones and floods accounted for $133 billion in economic losses.

Swiss Re said that while the impact of climate change on natural disasters is still inconclusive, there is growing evidence that it is causing more frequent and severe ‘secondary perils’ like hail and drought.

The company said such secondary perils accounted for more than half of the global insured losses of $56 billion this year, down from $93 billion in 2018.

Swiss Re said 11,000 people died or disappeared in disasters in 2019.