NU Online News Service, Nov. 30, 2:58 p.m. EST

With the end of the hurricane season arriving today, Swiss Re released its initial estimate for losses during 2009, estimating that catastrophe losses plunged 52 percent, thanks to a very mild hurricane season.

The Zurich-based reinsurer issued an initial estimate for its upcoming sigma study, saying total insured losses for 2009 would amount to about $24 billion. Natural catastrophes will cost insurers approximately $21 billion, with man-made disasters adding $3 billion to the tab, according to Swiss Re.

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