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Insurance

Reinsurers cover 40 percent of 2012 disaster damage

Natural disasters have again caused huge economic damage over the past 12 months. According to calculations by Germany's Munich Re, some two thirds of the overall damage was logged in the United States.

According to a study published by the world's largest reinsurer, Munich Re of Germany, natural disasters caused a total of 122 billion euros ($160 billion) in economic damage in 2012.

It said insured damage amounted to $65 billion last year. Munich Re noted that two thirds of overall damages from natural disasters and some 90 percent of insured damage were logged in the US, but failed to say how much the Munich-based company had to cover itself.

The German reinsurer pointed to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy which alone caused damages to the tune of $25 billion.

Matter of comparison

"Without that extraordinary storm, 2012 would have been a real low-damage year," Munich Re said in a statement.

Some 9,500 people died in natural disasters in 2012. By comparison, 2011 took a toll of 27,200 people, with economic damage stemming from disasters amounting to a staggering 300 billion euros.

Major earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand were responsible for a large portion of the huge human and material losses recorded in 2011.

hg/pfd (Reuters, dapd, dpa)