German reinsurer Munich Re reported on Thursday that it expected natural disasters in 2017 would expose the global insurance industry to record costs mounting to $135bn.
Munich Re said that the three massive hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, plus Mexico's devastating earthquake, US forest fires and flooding in Asia all contributed to costs at almost three times the 10-year average of $49bn.
The estimated $135bn total insurance bill would be 8% higher than the previous record seen in 2011 - the year of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan.
Overall losses, which include uninsured damages, amounted to $330bn - the second-highest figure ever recorded for natural disasters.
Munich Re said its statistics identified a total of 710 relevant natural catastrophes in 2017 - significantly more than the annual average of 605 - in which about 10,000 people lost their lives.
Torsten Jeworrek at Munich Re said: "This year’s extreme natural catastrophes show how important insurance is in absorbing financial losses in the wake of such disasters."
Such events, he added, "are giving us a foretaste of what is to come. Because even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in future.”
There was little negative reaction to the news - indeed, Munich Re's shares were 1.2% higher in late morning trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Rival Swiss Re was up 0.26% and French peer Scor added 0.83%.