JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 20, 2004 — U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses an estimated $963 million for insured property-loss claims from five catastrophes in the first quarter, according to preliminary estimates by Insurance Services Office, Inc.'s (ISO) Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.
This compares with insured losses of $1.48 billion in first-quarter 2003 and $615 million in first-quarter 2002.
PCS estimates the five catastrophes are expected to generate more than 230,000 claims from homeowners and businesses — the second-lowest number of first-quarter claims since 2000. The lowest count was slightly more than 108,000 claims in 2001.
The five catastrophes affected 20 states. Four winter storms in January together caused an estimated $660 million in insured property damage. In early March, wind, hail, tornadoes and flooding damaged insured property in seven southern and mid-Atlantic states.
At $135 million, New York headed the list of the five most severely affected states, followed by North Carolina at $100 million, New Jersey at $85 million, Pennsylvania at $80 million and Massachusetts at $70 million. These states represent half the country's total insured losses.
The largest event in the quarter was a winter storm that struck 10 northeastern states and caused an estimated $413 million in insured losses.
Following is a summary of first-quarter loss, frequency of events, and claims count since 2000:
|Year||Loss ($)||Frequency||Claims Count|
|2000||$ 1.98 billion||7||587,850|
|2001||$ 680 million||3||108,250|
|2002||$ 615 million||3||267,500|
|2003||$ 1.48 billion||5||355,400|
|2004||$ 963 million||5||230,150|
ISO's PCS unit defines a catastrophe as an event that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of property/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, business interruption and additional living expenses. The estimates exclude loss-adjustment expenses.
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. Solutions from ISO's Quality Planning Corporation (QPC) subsidiary enable insurers to identify auto premium leakage and recover lost premium. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves insurers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.