November 15, 2002 by Canadian Underwriter
Tornadoes and windstorms sweeping across several U.S. states earlier this week could cost insurers US$290 million, says the Insurance Information Institute (III).
The figure comes from preliminary survey data provided by AIR Worldwide, a subsidiary of the Insurance Services Office (ISO), focused on catastrophe modeling. The III notes the storms could figure among the top five tornado events in terms of insured costs. An AIR press release actually puts the loss at US$300 million.
A.M. Best has reported that the ISO is taking a more conservative estimate, pegging the losses at US$150-200 million based on preliminary data.
Several states were affected by the storms, with at least 36 people killed and more than 200 injured. The National Weather Service says 68 tornadoes were reported between November 9 and 11, and 163 hailstorms. AIR estimates a total of 72 tornadoes swept through states from Louisiana to Pennsylvania.
The first hit was Tennessee, where President George W. Bush has declared a major disaster.
Among the first companies reporting losses so far is Nationwide, which says it has received more than 2,400 claims and estimates losses at more than US$17.5 million. Many of these losses are in Ohio, where at least five tornadoes struck one county on Sunday alone.