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U.S. tornadoes more costly than estimated


December 5, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter


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A series of tornadoes and severe storms that hit several states early in November have been pegged to cost insurers US$460 million, according to the Property Claims Services division of the Insurance Services Office (ISO).
This is considerably higher than earlier estimates from the Insurance Information Institute (III) which had preliminarily put losses at US$290-300 million. The ISO had made an even more conservative early estimate of US$150-200 million.
The storms, which hit over two days, November 9 and 10, cut a swath from Pennsylvania to Louisiana. Hardest hit were Tennessee, with US$160 million in losses, Ohio with US$125 million, and Alabama with US$95 million.
ISO says insurers have received 86,000 claims, including both residential and commercial property damage.
The storms, which include high winds and hail, claimed dozens of lives and caused hundreds of injuries. The U.S. National Weather Service says 68 tornadoes were reported between November 9 and 11, and 163 hailstorms.