Munich Re topped the list of the largest reinsurers worldwide in 2017 with net premiums amounting to approximately 36 billion U.S. dollars in that year. In 2017, the National Indemnity Company, a subsidiary of American multinational conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., topped the list of American reinsurers by net premiums earned, amounting to 21.7 billion U.S. dollars in this period.
Reinsurers play an important role in managing climate and natural disaster risk. In 2017, natural disasters cost the global insurance industry around 136 billion U.S. dollars. Hurricane Katrina, which hit in 2005, was one of the most expensive natural disasters for the insurance industry, as well as one of the deadliest hurricanes recorded in the United States. Insured losses resulting from Katrina amounted exceeded 60.5 billion U.S. dollars, total losses for the category 5 hurricane amounted to twice that at round 125 billion U.S. dollars.