Annual global climate and catastrophe report: 2012

Global natural disasters in 2012 combined to cause economic losses of USD200 billion, just above the ten year average of USD187 billion. All told there were 295 separate events, compared to an average of 257. The disasters caused insured losses of USD72 billion, about 36 percent above the ten year run-rate of USD53 billion. 2012 represented a welcome return to a normal level of losses after the extreme economic and insured losses of 2011 - an outcome reflected in the very strong reinsurer and strong insurer results posted during the year.

In contrast to 2011, when the largest events occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, the two largest global events of 2012 occurred in the US: Hurricane Sandy and a yearlong drought. These two events accounted for nearly half of economic losses but, owing to higher insurance penetration in the U.S., 67% of insured losses globally. The drought, however, also contributed to lower U.S. tornado and severe weather losses than 2011. The U.S. accounted for nearly 90% of all insured losses in 2012.

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