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Hurricane watchers say calm 2006 'only a respite'
The 2006 hurricane season is ending on Nov. 30 with U.S. homeowners and insurers unscathed, but forecasters warn that the years ahead will not be so calm.
While the first predictions for 2007 are due in early December, Risk Management Solutions, a firm that models damages from hurricanes, sees annual storm losses for the next five years rising 40 percent in the U.S. Gulf and up to 30 percent in the Atlantic.
"2006 was only a respite," said Robert Hartwig, chief economist of the Insurance Information Institute. "The trend is for more hurricane activity, not less."