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From a catastrophe standpoint, the beginning of 2010 must have had more than a few U.S. insurers dreading the rest of the year as earthquakes and a serious winter storm in Europe brought calamity to far-off points of the world.

However, the dire warnings of a fearsomely active hurricane season pretty much bypassed the United States, instead wreaking havoc on less developed nations where the insurance penetration was practically nonexistent.

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