Insurer: US storms costliest natural disasters this year

Markets Associated Press

A leading insurer says damage worldwide caused by natural disasters was below average in the first-half of the year, with a series of storms in the U.S. the costliest.

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Germany's Munich Re, which issues a regular overview of global natural disaster costs, said Tuesday that insured losses totaled $19.5 billion between January and June. That compares with $32 billion a year earlier and a first-half average over the past decade of $29 billion.

Overall losses, included those that weren't insured, totaled $41 billion — compared with last year's $111 billion and an average $102 billion.

Munich Re says thunderstorms in the U.S. accounted for three of the five costliest disasters in the first half, with insured losses totaling $13.5 billion and total damage reaching $18.5 billion.