Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy totaled $25 billion, more than from any other catastrophe worldwide in 2012, says Munich Re, a global insurer.
Overall the United States accounted for a higher proportion of global natural catastrophe losses than usual in 2012. About 90 percent of insured losses worldwide stemmed from U.S. disasters.
"The heavy losses caused by weather-related natural catastrophes in the U.S. showed that greater loss-prevention efforts are needed," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek said in a press statement.
Still, global losses were lower in 2012 than in 2011, when record figures were posted due to the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and severe floods in Thailand. Overall losses totaled $400 billion and insured losses totaled $119 billion in 2011, compared to $160 billion in overall losses and $65 billion in insured losses in 2012.
About 9,500 people lost their lives in natural catastrophes last year compared with the 10-year average of 106,000, according to Munich Re. The relatively small number of fatalities last year was due to the fact that few natural catastrophes occurred in emerging and developing countries, where disasters tend to have more devastating consequences.