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