All Things Considered, It Has Been A Mild Year For Natural Disasters

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BERLIN (AP) — Leading reinsurer Munich Re says that the relatively small amount of damage caused by natural disasters in the first half of 2012 — primarily in the U.S. — helped offset the high losses from the first half of last year from earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.

Munich Re. said in a report Friday that global losses to the end of June were $26 billion, of which $12 billion were insured. Nearly 85 per cent of the losses were in North America, primarily from tornado damage in the U.S. By this time last year, Munich Re. says there had already been $302 billion in losses overall.

Reinsurers offer backup policies to companies writing primary insurance policies. Reinsurance helps spread risk so that the system can handle large losses from natural disasters.

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