Insurers to Pay California Policyholders $2.04 Billion for Wildfire Losses, Estimates ISO's Property Claim Services Unit

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 17, 2003 — Insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses $2.04 billion for insured property losses that resulted from the two California wildfires in San Diego and San Bernardino Counties from Oct. 25 through Nov. 4, according to preliminary estimates by the Property Claim Services (PCS) unit of Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO).

Insured losses from the Cedar Fire, which originated about 30 miles east of San Diego, totaled $1.06 billion. The fire destroyed more than 2,200 residential and commercial buildings and burned more than 280,000 acres before it was contained on Nov. 4.

The wildland fire known as the Old Fire began just outside the San Bernardino city limits and joined the Grand Prix and Padua Fires to become a single conflagration. The Old Fire, which was contained on Nov. 3, caused $975 million in insured losses, destroyed more than 1,100 residential and commercial properties, and burned more than 150,000 acres.

Insurers expect more than 19,000 claims from homeowners, businesses and vehicle owners from the two wildfires, PCS said.

PCS's estimate for insured property losses is developed from actual claims reported to insurers. PCS will resurvey its preliminary estimate in 60 days — standard procedure when preliminary loss estimates from a catastrophic event exceed $250 million or special circumstances underlying an event require additional analysis.

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 losses insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as all loss-adjustment expenses.

About ISO
ISO is a leading source of information, products and services related to property and liability risk. For a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance, ISO provides data, analytical and decision-support products; consulting; data processing; and technical, statistical and actuarial services. ISO field services include on-site rating and underwriting services and the evaluation of community loss-mitigation efforts. ISO's products help customers with sales and prospecting, underwriting, rating and quoting, customer management, policy administration, product development, claims administration and fraud detection. ISO's AIR Worldwide subsidiary provides technologies to assess and manage natural and man-made extreme-event risk. Through its ISO Claims Services, Inc. (iiX unit) and Intellicorp subsidiaries, ISO provides motor vehicle reports and criminal-records information and through its AscendantOne unit delivers rating, quoting and policy-administration solutions. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves insurers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.

Release: Immediate

Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500 /

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