Some of the most extreme cases of financial loss to individuals, businesses and whole regions result from natural catastrophes. In 2017, the insured losses worldwide reached approximately 144.31 billion U.S. dollars. Weather related losses cost the insurance industry 136.44 billion U.S. dollars, man-made disasters cost 6.25 billion U.S. dollars and earthquakes cost 1.62 billion U.S. dollars.
The earthquake most expensive to the insurance industry since 1980, took place in Japan in March 2011. The total losses were estimated to be 210 billion U.S. dollars while only 40 billion U.S. dollars were insured. The most costly global tropical cyclone occurred in the United States in 2017. Hurricane Harvey incurred 95 billion U.S. dollars of total losses, out of which only 30 million U.S. dollars were insured. The most costly insurance loss worldwide resulting from a natural disaster since 1970 amounted to 82.39 billion U.S. dollars and was caused by Hurricane Katrina, which hit the United States in 2005.
Man-made insured losses are those caused by fires and explosions, mining accidents, aviation, maritime or rail disasters. In 2017, major fires and explosions worldwide cost the insurance industry approximately 5.44 billion U.S. dollars and were the most significant insured loss among the mentioned categories.
The most costly terrorist attack took place in the United States in 2001. The insured property loss resulting from the crash of hijacked airplanes into World Trade Center and Pentagon, which is generally referred to as 9/11, amounted to 26.22 billion U.S. dollars.