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Japan disaster may signal reinsurance market turn: Fitch

Posted On: Mar. 14, 2011 12:00 AM CST

Insured losses from last week’s earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan are unlikely to be large enough to turn the reinsurance market, Fitch Ratings Ltd. said Monday.

However, taken in conjunction with catastrophe losses that already have occurred this year, including floods in Australia and an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the prospect of further catastrophe losses to come, the Japan catastrophe ultimately could become a catalyst for an uptick in reinsurance rates, Fitch said in a statement.

In addition, Fitch said, the earthquake and tsunami will affect insurance prices for Japanese catastrophe risks that are slated to renew in April.