Insurer: Calif. fire was costliest natural disaster in 2018

German insurance company Munich Re says the Northern California wildfire that killed dozens of people and burned down the town of Paradise was the world's costliest single natural disaster in 2018

BERLIN -- German insurance company Munich Re says the Northern California wildfire that killed dozens of people and burned down the town of Paradise was the world's costliest single natural disaster in 2018.

The reinsurance giant said on Tuesday that the November fire caused overall losses of $16.5 billion. The company said some $12.5 billion in losses were insured.

The firestorm destroyed thousands of homes and other structures.

He was quoted saying that "action is urgently needed on building codes and land use to help prevent losses.