A report by global re-insurers claims that 2012 was one of the most expensive years for insurers on record. Natural disasters specifically “large scale weather events” were to blame for the historically high numbers.

The world’s second-largest reinsurer said yesterday that natural catastrophes and man-made disasters cost the insurance industry $77 billion in 2012, the third-costliest year on record.

Swiss Re said the more than 300 catastrophes and disasters caused the loss of 14,000 lives and $186 billion, mostly because of “large-scale weather events” in the United States, such as superstorm Sandy, that accounted for $35 billion of insured losses — nearly half the total worldwide.

Sandy was especially costly making 2012 the second most expensive year for natural disaster insurance payouts in America.

Natural disasters last year in the U.S. cost insurance companies about $58 billion, making it the second most expensive year ever, bested only by 2005 when hurricanes Katrina and Rita smashed into the Gulf Coast.

Far and away the biggest factor in the total was Storm Sandy, accounting for more than $25 billion, or 43 percent of the year’s total, in insurance claims on damaged homes, cars and businesses

Hurricane Sandy was made more severe if not caused by global warming or what is fashionably called “climate change” now for fear people get confused by winter. So while the right-wing media, fossil fuel backed think tanks, and panhandling politicians in Washington would all like to pretend the planet isn’t warming the insurance industry is being forced to shovel out some serious cash. Denial isn’t free.