LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. insurer USAA plans to raise $250 million of protection against natural disasters with the sale of a new catastrophe bond, despite the threat of a payout on previous such deals following Hurricane Sandy.

Standard & Poor's said late on Thursday it had rated two tranches of cat bonds totalling $125 million being offered by United Services Automobile Association to cover itself against claims arising from hurricanes, earthquakes, thunderstorms, winter storm and wildfires in the United States.

USAA is also marketing two unrated notes for another $125 million, covering the same risks, said investors.

The new transaction is the latest from USAA's long-running Residential Re cat bond programme and is the 19th by the insurer, which sold the very first catastrophe bond in 1997.

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