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Reinsurer Rates May Reverse Two-Year Decline on Japan Quake

Insurance losses from the Japanese earthquake may be large enough to turn prices for catastrophe cover that have been falling for two years, according to analysts, brokers and underwriters.

Insurers and reinsurers face claims of as much as 2.8 trillion yen ($34 billion) tied to the 9.0-magnitude quake on March 11, excluding damage caused by the tsunami, catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide estimated. That would follow about $20 billion in losses from four previous disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, based on projections by Guy Carpenter & Co.