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'Gustav could cost insurers USD 8 bn'

world Updated: Sep 08, 2008 23:27 IST

Hurricane Gustav will cost the global insurance industry up to USD 8 billion, Swiss Reinsurance Co. Said on Monday.

Insured damages from natural disasters through the end of August were 20 per cent higher than in the same period last year, the company said before an annual industry meeting in Monaco this week.

It said the damage from Gustav would be between USD 4 billion and USD 8 billion.

The Zurich-based reinsurance company, which acts as a back-up to smaller insurers by buying some of their risk in return for a premium, also expressed concern about the possibility of high inflation.

Insurance companies could find themselves unable to pay for damages if inflation stays high, Swiss Re sai