Bulk of 2012 natural catastrophe losses hit the U.S. -Munich Re

FRANKFURT Thu Jan 3, 2013 5:07am EST

FRANKFURT Jan 3 (Reuters) - Munich Re on Thursday said 90 percent of insured losses caused by natural catastrophes in 2012 were attributable to the United States, with Hurricane Sandy causing the biggest hit.

The hurricane caused an insured loss of around $25 billion out of the total $65 billion in insured losses worldwide. Overall losses from natural catastrophes reached $160 billion in 2012.

Munich Re said a series of weather-related catastrophes caused U.S. claims to swell. Combined insured and uninsured overall losses in the country accounted for 67 percent of the worldwide toll, more than twice an average figure of 32 percent. Insured losses in the United States rose to 90 percent in 2012 from an average of 57 percent.

Swiss Re already said last month the insurance industry looked set to absorb about $65 billion in catastrophe claims for 2012, down from a near-record $120 billion a year earlier.