Canadian Underwriter

Storm Costs Hit Canadian and U.S. Insurers

August 1, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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Damage to vehicles as a result of hailstorms that struck Manitoba in mid-July has reached $2.5 million, the province’s public insurer reports. Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has received about 1,400 claims to date. Generally vehicle damage claims from the hail range from $2,500 to $3,000 each.

Manitoba Crop Insurance Corporation (MCIC) received 310 claims with the insured cost expected to reach $2 million, says Allan Steinke, manager of special projects for MCIC.

The storm hit the Altona and Gretna regions of Manitoba on July 13-14, bringing hail as large as baseballs, according to reports. Tornadoes, high winds and severe rain were also reported.

South of the border, Hurricane Claudette made landfall in Texas almost simultaneously as the hailstorms, causing about US$17 million in damage. Claudette resulted in at least two deaths and property losses across 17 counties, according to Texas-based Southwestern Insurance Information Service (SIIS). The Insurance Services Office (ISO) has declared the damage caused by Claudette as a “catastrophe”, indicating that insured losses are expected to exceed US$25 million.Overall, U.S. insurers will likely incur about US$4.9 billion in catastrophe-related claims for second-quarter 2003, according to the ISO. Insured losses for the first six months of this year – which saw a record 1.1 million in auto, residential and commercial claims – will hit about US$6.3 billion. This compares with 2002’s tally of US$3.4 billion and the US$6.9 billion in claims paid during the first half of 2001.

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