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North America catastrophe losses at $14 billion for first nine months of 2014


October 15, 2014   by Canadian Underwriter


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North American catastrophe activity caused just more than $14 billion in insured losses in the first nine months of the year, Property Claims Services reported Wednesday.

PCS has designated 26 catastrophe events for the first nine months in the United States, on par with last year, though insured losses did rise 13% year-over-year, to $13.6 billion. However, losses will still be short of the 10-year average of $18.7 billion, PCS said.

Texas has been the state most affected this year, at $1.9 billion in losses, followed by Nebraska at $1.2 billion, then Illinois and Pennsylvania, both of which sustained catastrophe losses of approximately $1.1 billion, according to the report.

Personal losses made up 61% of catastrophe losses in the first nine months of 2014 ($8.3 billion), down from 63% for the first half of the year. Commercial losses rose slightly to 20%, up from 17% in the first half of 2014, due mainly to the earthquake that hit California in late August.

“In Canada, both frequency and severity were down significantly in what has been the quietest catastrophe year since at least 2009,” the report notes. “Insured losses from four catastrophe events reached only C$700 million, down almost 80% from last year’s record.”

The two third-quarter events in Ontario and Alberta resulted in insured losses of C$553 million. However, overall catastrophe losses fell 77% from last year, but 2013 was Canada’s most active, largely because of second- and third-quarter catastrophe activity, the report notes.