The world’s largest reinsurance firm, Munich Re (MUV2.DE), has stated that Natural Disasters alone have cost the world $160 billion in 2012.
The US accounted for 67% of those total losses, with Hurricane Sandy proving to be single most expensive disaster of the year, costing around $50 billion in total. Munich Re actually noted that, “had it not been for this exceptional storm, losses would have been very low in 2012.”
Hurricane Sandy is the largest hurricane ever on record, and the second most expensive after Hurricane Katrina.
The second most costly natural disaster was the summer-long drought which blighted the Corn Belt across the US Midwest, causing severe crop damage to the sum of $20 billion.
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Torsten Jeworrek, a member of the board for Munich Re, said that “the heavy losses caused by weather-related natural catastrophes in the U.S.A. showed that greater loss-prevention efforts are needed.”
Professor Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re's Geo Risks Research unit, said that, “these two catastrophes clearly demonstrate the type of events we can expect to contend with more often in the future.
With no apparent prospect of progress in international climate negotiations like those held recently in Doha, adaptation to such hazards using suitable protective measures is absolutely essential.”
As high as the global losses were in 2012 they were still less than 2011 when the cost hit as high as $400 billion due to major earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and severe floods in Thailand.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com