Hurricane Backgrounder: Claims and Property Loss Information

JERSEY CITY, N.J., June 1, 2004 — The U.S. hurricane season, which begins today and runs through November, exposes tens of millions of people living along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast states to devastating property losses from hurricanes and tropical storms.

The attached fact sheet is a useful source of background material for your coverage of natural disasters in the coming months. The information is compiled from Insurance Services Office, Inc.'s (ISO) Property Claim Services (PCS) database on property losses for man-made and natural disasters.

The fact sheet highlights significant information on past catastrophic events, including hurricanes, and the cost of insured property damage those events produced. ISO spokespeople are available to provide analyses of catastrophe losses.

AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR), ISO's catastrophe- and weather-risk-modeling subsidiary, can also assist you in your coverage of hurricanes and other catastrophes. Using its sophisticated simulation models, AIR can estimate insured property losses from extreme events in real time. In the case of hurricanes, estimates are made prior to landfall. AIR's scientists, engineers and catastrophe-risk experts are available to comment on the science and financial impact of extreme events. Contact Mike Gannon at (617) 954-1857 or mgannon@air-worldwide.com.

PROPERTY CLAIM SERVICES: CATASTROPHE FACT SHEET

A Decade of Catastrophes (1994–2003): Number of Events and Estimated Insured Losses (adjusted to 2003 dollars)

Year Number of Events Insured Losses
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
21
25
20
24
27
37
25
38
33
32
$12.9 billion
$ 6.0 billion
$27.6 billion
$ 4.9 billion
$ 9.2 billion
$11.4 billion
$ 3.0 billion
$ 8.6 billion
$10.0 billion
$21.0 billion

ISO defines a catastrophe as a single incident or series of related incidents — man-made or wind, hail, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters — that cause insured property losses totaling at least $25 million and affect a significant number of policyholders and insurers.

Costliest Catastrophes and Estimated Insured Loss (adjusted to 2003 dollars)

Hurricane Andrew – Aug. 1992
Terrorist attack (N.Y., Va. and Pa.) – Sept. 2001
Northridge (Calif.) earthquake – Jan. 1994
Hurricane Hugo – Sept. 1989
Hurricane Georges – Sept. 1998
Tornado storm – May 2003
Hurricane Betsy – Sept. 1965
Tropical Storm Allison – June 2001
Hurricane Opal – Oct. 1995
Oakland (Calif.) fire – Oct. 1991
Tornado storm – April 2001
$20.3 billion
$19.5 billion*
$15.5 billion
$ 6.2 billion
$ 3.3 billion
$ 3.2 billion
$ 3.0 billion
$ 2.6 billion
$ 2.5 billion
$ 2.3 billion
$ 2.3 billion

*Net of workers compensation and general liability, and insurers incurred fewer personal property claims than anticipated

A Decade of Hurricane Losses (1994(2003): Number of Events and Estimated Insured Losses (adjusted to 2003 dollars)

Year Number of Events Insured Losses
2003
2002
2001*
2000*
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994*
2
1
0
0
5
2
1
3
3
0
$1.8 billion
$440 million
$15.5 billion
$0
$0
$2.6 billion
$3.7 billion
$36 million
$2.2 billion
$4.0 billion
$0
* Hurricane damages did not meet catastrophe threshold

Ten Most Intense Hurricanes, Categories 5 and 4 (1900 – 2003):Measured by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Disaster-Potential Scale

Florida (Keys) – 1935
Camille – 1969
Andrew – 1992
Texas (Galveston) – 1900
Louisiana (Grand Isle) – 1909
Louisiana (New Orleans) – 1915
Florida (Keys)/So. Texas – 1919
Florida – 1928
Donna – 1960
Carla – 1961
Category 5
Category 5
Category 5
Category 4
Category 4
Category 4
Category 4
Category 4
Category 4
Category 4

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Disaster-Potential Scale classifies hurricanes on their intensity and damage potential under five categories, with Categories 5, 4 and 3 being the most destructive. The scale does not measure insured property losses.

About Property Claim Services
PCS, a unit of ISO, is recognized around the world as the property/casualty industry's authority on catastrophe information services. For more than 50 years, PCS has been responsible for identifying and estimating insured property damage from catastrophes in the U.S. PCS's identification of events as catastrophes provides primary insurers and reinsurers worldwide with a way to segregate property losses that may be subject to reinsurance coverage.

About ISO
ISO is a leading provider of products and services that help measure, manage and reduce risk. ISO provides data, analytics and decision-support solutions to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government and human resources. Professionals use ISO's databases and services to classify and evaluate a variety of risks and detect potential fraud. In the U.S. and around the world, ISO's services help customers protect people, property and financial assets.

Release: Immediate

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

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