The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says privateinsurers are turning away from climate-change risks, sending an“unmistakeable signal” that such risks are increasing and thatcosts to society are climbing, but an insurance industryassociation disputed some of the figures used to arrive at thatassumption.

In a report, the NRDC says taxpayers shelled out nearly $100 billionlast year through federal insurance to clean up weather-relateddamage caused by climate change in 2012 — three times the cost ofclaims paid by private insurers.

The NRDC says 2012 was the second-most expensive weathercatastrophe year in the history of the U.S., totaling more than$139 billion from losses related to forest fires, crop loss, andwind damage, and the group contends that private insurersonly covered a quarter of these costs.

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