Insurers are better prepared to face the hurricane season this year, after the harsh 2004 season forced them to learn how to more effectively interpret the information they get from catastrophe (CAT) modeling systems, according to Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a Newark, Calif., provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk. At press time, RMS estimated that losses from Hurricane Dennis were likely to be between $1 and $3 billion.The two million claims produced from the 2004 season were a catalyst that encouraged companies to improve their understanding of the models, much like Hurricane Andrew in 1992 pushed catastrophe modeling into the mainstream, says Kyle Beatty, meteorologist with RMS.

"We felt an obligation to fairly investigate the claims produced from the 2004 season," he says.

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