Global insured losses in 2012 amounted to $77 billion, driven largely by natural catastrophes that hit the U.S., according to a Swiss Re report. Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy are estimated at $35 billion, making it the costliest disaster last year, the report said. "The possibility that such events could increase in frequency and strike densely populated regions such as the Northeast U.S. means that extreme storm surges need to be more thoroughly understood," said Swiss Re's Matthias Weber.

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