2013 had lowest Atlantic hurricane count since 1982, says insurance firm

Source: Reuters - Thu, 12 Dec 2013 09:31 GMT
Author: Reuters
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A coconut tree falls and is washed away by rains from Hurricane Sandy, as a river swells to dangerous levels and threatens homes along the bank, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on October 26, 2012. REUTERS/Swoan Parker
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By Chris Vellacott

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The 2013 Atlantic storm season has proved one of the quietest in decades with the lowest number of hurricanes since 1982 and none of them considered 'major', according to insurance broker Willis Re.

An unusually quiet hurricane season is significant for the insurance industry not only because there are fewer pay-outs for damage but also because it drives down reinsurance prices.

The Atlantic hurricane season is closely watched by insurers because a destructive storm can hit prosperous, heavily insured areas such as Miami, costing the industry billions in claims.

A review of the season by Willis Re, published on Thursday shows that the 2013 season saw only two storms - named Humberto and Ingrid - classified as hurricanes.

"A season without a major hurricane hasn't occurred since 1994 and the number of hurricanes this year was the lowest since 1982," the review said.

The official hurricane season runs between June 1 and November 30 and was predicted by many forecasters to be "active or above average", the report said.

"However, it was in fact one of the quietest seasons observed in the last 20 years," Willis Re said.

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