Even though property and casualty insurers had to contend with relatively few hurricanes and other extreme catastrophes in 2007, the increased prevalence of smaller natural disasters throughout the year resulted in a 50 percent increase over 2006′s worldwide insured losses.

That’s according to a report from Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers. These figures might be surprising, especially considering the fact that both 2006 and 2007 failed to feature typical large-loss scenarios like those in 2004 and 2005, when multiple hurricanes devastated the Gulf and Florida coasts. So why the 50 percent jump? Munich Re attributed it to activity level, saying that 950 natural catastrophes were reported last year, the highest number since 1974 and 100 more than in 2006.

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