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Insurance payments due to natural disasters in 2017 amounted to a record $ 144 billion

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) –  Insurance companies around the world in 2017 paid $ 144 billion under insurance contracts against natural disasters, according to a study by the Swiss insurance company Swiss Re.

This is a record figure in history.

Three hurricanes in the US – Harvey , Irma and Mary – led to payments of $ 92 billion, which corresponds to approximately 0.5% of US GDP. Thus, the hurricane season in the North Atlantic has become the most costly for insurers since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina virtually destroyed New Orleans and led to the death of more than 1.8 thousand people.

In addition to the hurricanes, payments to victims of forest fires last year amounted to a record $ 14 billion.

Storm activity in the Atlantic in 2018, as in 2017, will be higher than long-term average indicators, experts predict the University of Colorado (CSU), which publishes such materials for 35 years.

In this case, meteorologists expect that this time will do without such devastating hurricanes as last year, which was a record for many parameters.

According to CSU, over the Atlantic Ocean in the upcoming season will form 14 tropical systems that will get their own name, that is, they can have a significant impact on weather conditions, agriculture and energy markets. Half of these 14 can be considered hurricanes.

In three cases, the wind speed is expected to be at least 111 miles per hour (179 km / h or almost 50 m / s), which corresponds to category 3 (from 5) and higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.