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Swiss Re estimates Hurricane Katrina cost at US$500m
Updated: 2005-09-01 16:57

Swiss Re, the world's second-largest reinsurance company, estimates its claims from Hurricane Katrina will be about US$500 million (euro410 million), AP reported.

The global insurance industry faces claims totaling US$20 billion (euro16.4 billion), Swiss Re said in a statement released late Wednesday.

The global estimate was in line with the preliminary prediction earlier this week by the largest reinsurance company, Germany's Munich Re, but it was lower than the US$25 billion forecast by some risk assessment firms.

"The complexity of damage caused by the storm and subsequent flooding means estimates have a more than usual degree of uncertainty," Swiss Re said.

Munich Re estimated its exposure at up to euro400 million (US$489 million).

Swiss Re said that it expects the Katrina losses would make it the second most costly hurricane after Andrew in 1992, when claims reached US$22 billion with figures adjusted to current dollar values.

The Swiss company estimated its natural catastrophe claims so far this year at 1 billion Swiss francs (US$798 million; euro654.21 million). Besides Katrina, significant claims are coming in from a European storm in January, July hurricanes Dennis and Emily and recent floods in India and Europe.

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