The most costly insurance losses between 1970 and 2012, by event (in million US dollars, at 2012 prices)

 Insured loss in million U.S. dollars
Hurricane Katrina* (2005) 76,254
Earthquake/tsunami in Japan (2011) 35,735
Hurricane Sandy** (2012) 35,000
Hurricane Andrew (1992) 26,180
Terror attack on WTC (2001) 24,349
Northridge earthquake (1994) 21,685
Hurricane Ike (2008) 21,585
Hurricane Ivan (2004) 15,672
Floods in Thailand (2011) 15,315
Earthquake in New Zealand (2011) 15,315
Hurricane Wilma (2005) 14,772
Hurricane Rita (2005) 11,869
Drought in the Corn Belt/U.S.*** (2012) 11,000
Hurricane Charley (2004) 9,784
Typhoon Mireille (1991) 9,517
Hurricane Hugo (1989) 8,467
Earthquake in Chile (2010) 8,421
Winter storm Daria (1990) 8,205
Winter storm Lothar (1999) 7,994
Major storm in Alabama et al.(2011) 7,453
Major tornado outbreak in Missouri et al.(2011) 7,198
Winter storm Kyrill (2007) 6,748
Storm and floods in Europe (1987) 6,264
Hurricane Frances (2004) 6,255
Hurricane Irene (2011) 5,952
Winter storm Vivian (1990) 5,607
Typhoon Bart (1999) 5,568
Earthquake in New Zealand (2010) 5,263
Hurricane Georges (1998) 4,972
Tropical storm Allison (2001) 4,673
Hurricane Jeanne (2004) 4,622
Typhoon Songda (2004) 4,357
Thunderstorms, the U.S. (2003) 4,000
Hurricane Floyd (1999) 3,890
Hurricane Opal (1995) 3,775
Great Hanshin earthquake in Kobe (1995) 3,724
Winter storm Klaus (2009) 3,489
Winter storm Martin (1999) 3,308
Blizzard, North/Central America**** (1993) 3,119
Severe floods in Europe ***** (2002) 2,947
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The statistic shows the forty most expensive insured losses between 1970 and 2012. The shown insured losses are caused by property and business interruption (excluding liability and life insurance losses). Hurricane Frances, which occurred in the United States and the Bahamas in 2004, caused insured losses in excess of 6.3 billion US dollars.

Insuring against natural disasters

Insuring is the practice of transferring risk from one entity to another in exchange for payment. It is important, especially if one lives, owns property or a business in an area prone to natural disasters, to take out coverage for a range of storms, catastrophic events and natural disasters that could cause damage to real estate. When considering this type of insurance it is important to ask a lot of the important questions up front. How long will it take for a claim to be settled for example, not all insurers settle claims with the same speed. Many also provide specific exclusions, be they for floods, earthquakes or other types of natural events. A detailed inspection of exclusions in a policy is important in order to find out which coverage is still needed. Obviously, the extent of coverage that one should take out is wholly dependant on the area in which one lives, in the United States, as well as in the rest of the world, there are low risk areas and there are high risk areas. Despite this, no one can be sure where a natural disaster will occur and the severity of the destruction it could bring with it when it does, no one can stop natural disasters or the economic impact that they have but insurance helps to mitigate the loss caused by them.

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