Weather Disasters In U.S. Big For Insurance Losses

GENEVA (March 27, 20130—Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurer, says natural catastrophes and man-made disasters cost the insurance industry $77 billion in 2012, the third costliest year on record.

Swiss Re says the more than 300 catastrophes and disasters caused the loss of 14,000 lives and $186 billion, mostly because of "large scale weather events" in the United States such as Hurricane Sandy that accounted for $35 billion of insured losses, nearly half the total worldwide.

But the Zurich-based firm noted in a statement Wednesday the losses were well down from 2011, when record earthquakes and flooding in Asia Pacific region caused the highest ever recorded losses of more than $126 billion.

“Large parts of the globe that are prone to weather extremes" were uninsured, Kurt Karl, Swiss Re's chief economist, said.


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