Munich Re said in an annual report Wednesday that insured losses last year totalled $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 — totalled about $380 billion. That was far above the 2005 record of $220 billion.
Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March caused insured losses of up to $40 billion. The second most costly disaster for insurers, at $13 billion, was the February quake that hit the New Zealand city of Christchurch.