Hurricane Iris's path of destruction may extend far further than the shores of Belize and the Caribbean islands.

Teetering on the edge of extinction, many reinsurers are wondering what they did to deserve this. Did they take it one corporate function too far? Should they have left the girlfriend at home on that last junket?

The storm itself was very late in the season for the Caribbean and seems to have died out quickly once it veered inland over central America and the altitude changed over the mountainous terrain.

But it's not over yet - the southern states of the US are heading towards the most intemperate time of the year, as is the UK.

June's Tropical Storm Allison has been predicted to cost the industry - in insured and uninsured losses - around $5bn (£3.5bn), while estimates put 1992's Hurricane Andrew losses at $18bn (£12bn) to $20bn (£14bn).

Extensive flooding in Belize City, where much of the insured property of the country is found, will cost the industry, but not as much as if the full 140mph force of Iris had hit the country's capital.

Analysts believe first-tier reinsurers would survive any claims on another natural disaster in the US. But second-tier reinsurers and smaller companies, which all feed from the same pool, would not.

With seven flood warnings in place throughout the UK (three in Wales on the river Wye, two in the Midlands on the rivers Severn and Vyrnwy and two in the North-East on the river Ouse), the winter months are going to be a game of chance for most reinsurers and insurers.