Insurers had their costliest year yet in 2005 as a deluge of natural disasters saw total insured losses of about $80bn (£45bn), says Swiss Re.
The US endured the worst hurricane season since records began
August's Hurricane Katrina in the US alone is expected to cost $45bn in claims, the world's second-biggest reinsurance company said.
This will make it the most expensive insured single event in history.
Total economic losses caused by hurricanes, earthquakes and floods in 2005 reached $225bn in 2005, it said.
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was previously the most expensive single catastrophe, causing losses of $22bn, Swiss Re said.
This was followed by the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, costing nearly $21bn.
Two other expensive storms in the US came in the wake of Katrina. Hurricane Rita cost $10bn in insured losses and Wilma claimed $8bn.
"The ongoing warm phase that has been measurable since the 1990s and the recent high hurricane frequency inspire little hope of the trend being reversed any time soon," Swiss Re warned.