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Hurricanes, earthquakes estimated to cost insurers $95B

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2017 file photo shows the damaged home of Ashley Toledo's mother in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Punta Diamante, Puerto Rico. Authorities warned that people in wooden or flimsy homes should find safe shelter before Maria's expected arrival. "You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you're going to die," said Hector Pesquera, the island's public safety commissioner. "I don't know how to make this any clearer." (AP Photo/Jorge A Ramirez Portela, File)

GENEVA (AP) -- Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as two recent earthquakes in Mexico likely cost the insurance industry about $95 billion, said Swiss Re, one of the world's biggest reinsurers.

The Zurich-based company, which as a reinsurer provides backup policies to companies that write primary insurance policies, said Friday that the claims process is ongoing and estimates could evolve.

Swiss Re expects its own payouts linked to the natural disasters will be about $3.6 billion, including $175 million for the Mexico earthquakes alone.

A company statement didn't break down the costs by hurricane. In an e-mail, Swiss Re's vice president for communications, Willy-Andreas Heckmann, said the company would provide further details with its third-quarter results report next week.

CEO Christian Mumenthaler called the catastrophes "extremely powerful" and said Swiss Re "can support our clients when they need us most."

Reinsurance, a sort of insurance for insurers, helps spread risk so that the system can handle large losses from natural disasters.