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Catastrophe management is not a specialty area where insurers can choose to offer boutique service; it is nothing less than the true test of the insurer’s capacity to marshal resources to fulfill the promise that a policy implies. The anniversaries of the September 11, 2001 attacks and Hurricane Katrina remind us that these capabilities will eventually be put to the test. Changing weather patterns and events such as the BP Deepwater Horizon spill indicate the changing shape of catastrophe risk. While catastrophe claims may not appear to be the bread-and-butter of claims losses, they are in fact the second greatest source of insurance claim costs, behind medical claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

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