Canadian Underwriter

U.S. Cats Cost Insurers Us$963 Million For 1-Q

May 1, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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U.S. insurers will likely face an insured cost of US$963 million for the first quarter of this year with regard to catastrophe related property claims, according to preliminary data released by the New York-based Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO). The latest quarter’s tally is significantly less than the US$1.5 billion cat loss made over the first quarter of 2003, the ISO notes.

This year’s first quarter cat loss relates to five events that are expected to generate more than 230,000 claims from homeowners and businesses, the ISO says. Notably, the expected number of claims for the first quarter of this year is the second lowest total for a first quarter since 2000.

The five cat events affected 20 states, the ISO observes, with four winter storms in January having produced an insured loss of about US$660 million. The largest loss event was one of these storms, which alone struck 10 northeastern states and caused insured damages of about US$413 million. Wind, hail, tornadoes and flooding that occurred across seven southern and mid-Atlantic states in March accounted for most of the outstanding cat loss for the latest quarter.

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