Climate change contributed to a fivefold increaseweather-related natural disasters in North America over the pastthree decades, according to Munich Re, the world's biggestreinsurer.

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

North America accounted for $510 billion of insured losses fromweather-related catastrophes between 1980 and 2011, or 69 percentof the global total, Munich Re said in a study published today.Increases in climate change-related hazards aren't automaticallyreflected in premiums, the reinsurer said.

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