Reinsurance brokers say the most expensive year for natural disasters didn't drive coverage prices higher across the industry when policies were renewed on Jan. 1.

Reinsurers' strong capital base meant only insurance policies covering nations the most affected by catastrophes, such as Japan, Thailand and New Zealand, faced significant increases, James Vickers of Willis Group Holdings Plc said.

Rates in many other lines of business "have hardly moved at all," even as reinsurance companies lost money on their underwriting, Vickers, chairman of Willis Re's international and specialty reinsurance unit, said by phone. "There is not a blanket increase. On accounts where clients had losses, prices have gone up considerably more than 10 percent."

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