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Manulife says Hurricane Sandy exposure is 'manageable'

TORONTO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial, one of North America's largest insurers, said its exposure to Hurricane Sandy was manageable and within its risk tolerance.

The company, based in Toronto, is primarily a life insurer, but it also provides property and casualty reinsurance, meaning it insures insurers that have potential exposure to the devastation caused by the storm.

Manulife spokeswoman Laurie Lupton said the company's exposure was limited.

``Because of the structure of our contracts, the potential impact is limited to a maximum amount that is within our risk tolerance and manageable from an earnings and capital perspective,'' she said.

Forecasters said the total insurance losses related to Hurricane Sandy should outdo the $4.5 billion in losses caused by Hurricane Irene, which hit the U.S. northeast in August 2011.

Intact Financial, which is Canada's largest property & casualty insurer, said it has no exposure to the hurricane as it does not have any U.S. operations.

Rival Fairfax Financial, which has a sizable reinsurance business, did not respond to a request for comment. Great-West Lifeco also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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