Catastrophe-modeling firm EQECAT forecast more than a one-in-three chance of large hurricane catastrophe losses in the United States for the current season.

Tom Larsen, senior vice president of Oakland, Calif.-based EQECAT, said this year's hurricane season might not be as severe and unusual as the 2004 season. He added, however, that the potential for large losses in 2005 is still likely to be troubling to insurers and reinsurers.

EQECAT said its forecast is based on reports by the National Hurricane Center, which has suggested 2005 is likely to be an "above average" year.

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