Toll of natural disasters in 2018

The economic losses caused by natural disasters amounted to 160 billion USD in 2018 decreasing compared to the 350 billion USD recorded in 2017.

As in previous years, it was the United States that paid the heaviest price. Hurricanes Michael and Florence, the California fires and the Hawaii volcanic eruption are among the most expensive events of the year.

Natural disasters of 2018: Coastal areas are the most vulnerable

Natural desaster 2018

According to the survey conducted by Swiss Re, the series of events occurring in 2018 highlights, once again, the vulnerability of coastal areas where populations and material goods are concentrated.

In these high-risk areas, extreme weather conditions can quickly turn into natural disasters in terms of losses.

List of major natural disasters in 2018

In 2018, the number of natural disasters worldwide increased by 13%, from 740 events in 2017 to 850 one year later. With 10 400 casualties, the human toll remains heavy despite a 20% decrease compared to the previous year.

The cost of insured losses declined by 42%, from 140 to 80 billion USD, that is half of the economic losses.

DateCountry (region)Natural disasterHuman lossesEconomic lossesInsured losses
08-25/11United Sates (California)Camp Fire8616.5 billion USD12.5 billion USD
08-10/10United States (Florida)Hurricane Michael4516 billion USD10 billion USD
10-27/09United States (North and South Carolina)Hurricane Florence5314 billion USD5 billion USD


Hong Kong


Typhoon Mangkhut13050 billion USD
(Hong Kong and China)

16 to 20 billion USD (Philippines) (1)
1 to 2 billion USD
(insured losses in Chinese industry)

448 million USD
(Hong Kong)
23/07Greece (Attica)Attic Fires92--
28/06 - 08/07Japan (Shikoku)Floods20010 billion USD2.6 to 4 billion USD (2)
28/09Indonesia (Sulawesi)Earthquakes and tsunamis2 010 morts911 million USD51.3 million USD
03/05 à aujourd’huiUnited States (Hawaii)Volcanic eruptions-1 billion USD (3)-

(1) Bloomberg estimates
(2) Does not take into account business interruption following a disaster
(3) Estimates

Natural disasters in 2018 : number of events, victims and amount of economic and insurred losses

 20182017Last 10-year average (2008-2017)Last 30-year average (1988-2017)
Number of events
Number of victims
10 40013 00060 00053 000
Total economic losses in millions USD
160 000350 000190 000140 000
Total insured losses in millions USD
80 000140 00061 00041 000
% of insured losses

Source : Munich Re

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