Updates on 2011 — the Costliest Year for Disasters in U.S. and Worldwide

As reported in the Washington Post on Jan, 4, 2012, 2011 topped the record for the costliest year for disasters worldwide. See: Reinsurer says earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand make 2011 industry’s costliest yet. The article noted:

The devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand made 2011 the costliest year yet for the insurance industry in terms of natural disaster losses, a leading reinsurance company said Wednesday.

Munich Re AG said in an annual report that insured losses last year totaled $105 billion — exceeding the previous record of $101 billion set in 2005, when losses were swollen by claims from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

The company said the total economic cost last year from natural disasters — including uninsured losses — totaled about $380 billion. That was far above the 2005 record of $220 billion.

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March caused overall losses of $210 billion and insured losses of between $35 billion and $40 billion, Munich Re said. That didn’t include the consequences of the subsequent meltdowns at

To read the full report, go to the Munich Re website.  For a related article, see this one from Nature.com, which discusses some of the factors behind the high cost of the disasters.

NEW: On Jan. 18, the New York Times reported that NOAA has just providing additional data to show that there were in fact 14  U.S. disasters that cost $1. B or more in 2011.

See also the Jan. 19th posting by Phil Palin on Homeland Security Watch blog, which also provides a graphic and also cites the Economist article that I noted in the last posting.

Eight states received a total of $400. million for disaster assistance in 2011, according to CNN on Jan. 21, 2012.

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