The U.S. share of insurance losses from worldwide catastrophes more than doubled in 2012 as Superstorm Sandy lashed the Northeast and the nation suffered its worst drought since the 1930s.
The U.S. accounted for about 90%, or $65 billion, of $72 billion in global losses, according to the Impact Forecasting unit of Aon, the London insurance broker.
That compares with 40% in 2011, when Japan had higher-than-usual costs because of an earthquake and tsunami.
The location and climate of the U.S. make the country more vulnerable than most developed nations to hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and drought. U.S. commercial buildings and homes are more likely to have coverage than property in less wealthy nations facing storm risk, such as Nicaragua and Haiti.
"The United States has typically been the main driver of global loss," said Steve Bowen, senior scientist and meteorologist at Impact Forecasting. Bowen said the U.S. typically accounts for about 64% of global insured losses.