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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 10:36 GMT
Hurricanes hit Swiss Re profits
Swiss Re building in London
The Swiss Re building is one of London's most recognisable
Profits at reinsurer Swiss Re have suffered a 40% drop in the wake of the damage caused in the US by 2005's devastating hurricane season.

Net profits fell to 1.45bn Swiss francs ($1.1bn; 634m) for the full year, as the company was forced to pay out three billion francs in disaster claims.

Premiums earned dropped by 6%, as Swiss Re avoided underwriting business at cheaper prices.

Insurers face claims of about $80bn after last year's spate of disasters.

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.

Swiss Re's results were far lower than had been expected by analysts, who had estimated profits of about 1.8bn Swiss francs.

Costliest year yet for insurers
20 Dec 05 |  Business
Hurricane damage 'to total $60bn'
02 Nov 05 |  Business
Big rise in Katrina cost forecast
13 Sep 05 |  Business
Disasters 'cost $123bn in 2004'
01 Mar 05 |  Business
Disaster claims 'less than $10bn'
28 Dec 04 |  Business
Swiss Re profits soar
29 Aug 03 |  Business

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