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Survey: natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion last year, led by Sandy with $25 billion

A leading insurance company says natural disasters cost the industry $65 billion last year and that Superstorm Sandy accounted for nearly two-fifths of the total.

However, Munich Re AG said Thursday total insured losses from natural catastrophes were down from a record $119 billion in 2011, when devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand cost the industry dear.

The company said total economic costs in 2012 from natural disasters — including uninsured losses — amounted to $160 billion, compared with the previous year's $400 billion.

Sandy was blamed for at least 120 deaths when it battered eastern coastline areas at the end of October. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were the hardest-hit states.

Munich Re estimated insured losses from Sandy at $25 billion and total losses at $50 billion.