The Costliest Catastrophes of 2012

Insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters amounted to $77 billion last year, making 2012 the third-most costly year on record, according to Swiss Re's latest sigma study. The study notes that insured losses from the events in the following list is a result of the high insurance penetration in North America. Large parts of the globe that are prone to weather extremes were not able to rely on financial relief due to low insurance penetration.

While the insured losses are lower than 2011's total of $126 billion, 2012 did have some historic losses. Record heat and extremely dry weather conditions in the United States led to highest ever recorded loss in agriculture insurance. Also, a rare and relatively weak series of earthquake shocks in the north of Italy caused the highest recorded insured losses in the country’s history.

Images courtesy of Thinkstock and Fotolia.

10. June 11, 2012 U.S. thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail

These events resulted in $950 million in insured losses.


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