The hurricanes that hit theUnited States over the last few months have left the insuranceindustry facing piles of claims. Commercial insurance buyers haveenjoyed a soft market in recent years, but this fall's catastrophelosses are likely to result in higher prices going forward, atleast for buyers with catastrophe exposures.

Some estimates of insurers' losses related to the recent naturaldisasters have been sky-high. Fitch Ratings said that catastrophelosses for 2017, including those related to the threehurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria—and the earthquakes in Mexico,will cost global insurers and reinsurers more than $100 billion andcould get up to $190 billion.

Steven Weisbart, senior vice president and economist at theInsurance Information Institute, noted that insurance companies arestill receiving and processing claims from the hurricanes. It couldtake until November or December to get a good handle on the costs,he said.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.