Canadian Underwriter

U.S. cats cost US$12.8 billion in 2003

January 16, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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U.S. p&c insurers faced a hefty price tag from catastrophes in 2003, with 21 events costing US$12.8 billion, says the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Property Claims Services (PCS). Overall, more than 2.6 million cat claims were filed last year.
The is the third-highest loss year for cats in the past decade, following 2001, where losses topped US$28 billion due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and 1994, where losses were US$17 billion, partly due to the Northridge earthquake.
In fact, fourth quarter 2003 was the highest loss for that period in the last decade five events cost insurers US$2.64 billion mainly due to the California wild fires.
A whopping 39 states suffered the wrath of catastrophes, with California feeling the brunt of losses (US$2.1 billion) due to the fires, followed by Texas (US$1.5 billion), Tennessee (US$1.2 billion), Oklahoma (US$1.1 billion and Virginia (US$1 billion).
PCS defines a catastrophe as an event costing at least US$25 million in insured damage and affecting a significant number of insurers and insureds.

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