Insurers to Pay $580 Million for Insured-Property Damage in First-Quarter 2002, Estimates ISO's Property Claim Services Unit

JERSEY CITY, NJ, April 18, 2002 — Insurers are expected to pay $580 million to homeowners and businesses for insured-property losses from three catastrophe events in the first quarter this year — the lowest first-quarter loss in more than a decade — according to preliminary estimates by Insurance Services Office, Inc.'s (ISO) Property Claim Services (PCS) unit. Previous low first quarter was last year at $705 million.

Three events in 13 states generated slightly more than 240,000 claims — double the number of claims from three events in the same quarter last year — from one of the mildest winters on record. Snowfall across the U.S. was below normal, especially in the eastern part of the country.

The costliest catastrophe in the quarter was the January winter storm that caused $265 million in insured-property damage in seven states, from Oklahoma to Ohio. PCS is reviewing the estimate because insurers are still receiving more claims from policyholders.

In March, two catastrophe events, primarily in the midsection of the country, caused $315 million in insured damages.

Texas, with $105 million, had the highest insured loss followed by Kansas ($90 million), Missouri ($70 million), New York ($60 million) and Ohio ($50 million).

Following is a recap of first-quarter catastrophe losses since 1992:

Year
Frequency
Insured Losses ($)
Number of Claims
1992
6
$810 million
320,000
1993
9
$2.9 billion
650,000
1994
8
$14.48 billion
1,428,200
1995
6
$1.11 billion
523,600
1996
11
$2.55 billion
1,511,250
1997
8
$860 million
478,500
1998
10
$1.005 billion
497,500
1999
5
$1.86 billion
824,615
2000
7
$1.98 billion
560,000
2001
3
$705 million
110,000

ISO's PCS unit defines a catastrophe as an event within a particular territory that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of property and casualty policyholders and insurers.

PCS estimates represent anticipated insured loss on an industrywide basis arising from catastrophes, reflecting the total net insurance payment for personal and commercial property lines of insurance covering fixed property, personal property, vehicles, boats, related property items and business-interruption losses. The estimates exclude loss-adjustment expenses.

Release: Immediate

Contacts:
Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500
gbarone@mww.com / ehelton@mww.com

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