As we moved towards the wind season there was a steady increase in activity. Prices increased steadily rather than with the big jump that was seen at this time last year. Capacity is still freely available for most types of covers, but the proliferation of “non- United States” covers in the first few months of the year gave way to the annual pre-wind season activity. Last year, with much credence given to hurricane forecasts, hedge funds were prominent among the buyers of the product. This time around, however, it is most definitely the rated carriers who are the biggest buying group. Because the rated carriers have better access and more established positions in the territories where the losses have been sustained, they have suffered more than the hedge funds. Accordingly, the rated carriers have lower appetites for taking on more catastrophe losses in the United States. If activity continues at the same pace through the July 1 renewal season, pricing is likely to nudge record levels.