July 21, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
Early damage estimates from Hurricane Claudette which made landfall in Texas last week and resulted in at least two deaths and property losses across 15 counties has thus far produced insured losses of around US$17 million, according to Texas-based Southwestern Insurance Information Service (SIIS).
Five of the counties hit by Claudette have been declared disaster areas by U.S. president George Bush, with another 10 pending disaster status, a statement released by Texas governor Rick Perry says. 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.
Sandra Ray, press officer for the SIIS, notes that "it is far too early to estimate precisely what total insured losses will be. These numbers could increase very significantly over the days and weeks to follow." The US$17 million in claims so far received by the SIIS’ member insurers does not include flood or crop damage, she adds. "It appears that most of the damage to structures was the result of wind and wind-driven rain."