North America Sees Biggest Rise in Weather-Related Disasters

Five-fold increase in North America compares with four-fold gain in Asia, doubling in Europe.

Climate change contributed to a fivefold increase weather-related natural disasters in North America over the past three decades, according to Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer.

“Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America,” Peter Hoeppe, head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research unit, told reporters in Munich today. There was a four-fold gain in disasters in Asia, while the number doubled in Europe, the reinsurer said.

U.S. Thunderstorms

Natural disaster losses for insurers and the reinsurers who help them shoulder risks for clients were “dominated” in the first half of this year by thunderstorms in the U.S., where about 85 percent of claims worldwide originated, Munich Re said in July. Insured losses in the U.S. totaled $10 billion in the first six months of 2012 compared with $8.8 billion a year ago.

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