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Significant first-quarter cat losses for U.S. insurers: ISO


May 1, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter


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On the heels of the worst ever year on record for insured catastrophe losses in 2004, U.S. insurers are facing another steep price tag in the first quarter of 2005, says the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Property Claims Services (PCS) unit.
As a result of eight catastrophes, insurers will pay an estimated US$2.1 billion in homeowners’ and business claims. This represents the second-worst first quarter since 1996, when insurers paid out US$2.6 billion. In 2004, first-quarter cat losses were US$1.04 billion.
The eight catastrophic events thus far in 2005 should result in about 535,000 claims spread over 28 states, of which 61% will be for personal property losses, 14% for commercial property and 25% for vehicle damage.
The worst of the eight events were the thunderstorms which devastated the south and east coasts of the U.S. in late March, where US$655 million in losses are expected to be paid out by insurers.
Texas led the way in cat losses at US$565 million, with California a distant second at US$175 million. Georgia saw US$220 million in claims, while Alabama saw US$150 million and Pennsylvania US$120 million in losses.