The “exceptional” run of natural catastrophes over the past 16 months may presage the return of a harder market, says Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings

The Willis Re 1stView Renewals Report for June/July 2011, titled, “Mixed Messages,” estimates that a string of natural catastrophes has cost reinsurers approximately $48 billion and insurers $86 billion. The report estimates that incidents in the first quarter of 2011 have cost reinsurers in the region of 10% of their total shareholders’ funds at the end of December 2010.

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