JERSEY CITY, N.J., Oct. 14, 2004 — U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses an estimated $6 billion for insured property losses from Hurricane Ivan, according to ISO's Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.
Hurricane Ivan initially struck Alabama on Sept. 16, raging across the Florida Panhandle up the Eastern Seaboard to Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, driving torrential rain, powerful winds, tornadoes and heavy flooding. In all, 15 states were affected, producing nearly 600,000 claims for destroyed or damaged insured homes, cars, boats and businesses.
The lion's share of the losses was reported in five states:
Florida residents and business owners filed 285,000 claims — nearly half the total claims insurers will pay for Hurricane Ivan.
At $6 billion, Hurricane Ivan is the third costliest hurricane after Hurricanes Andrew and Charley. Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida in 1992, causing insured losses of $20.3 billion adjusted for inflation. PCS's projection of insured losses from Hurricane Charley, which struck in August, totaled $6.8 billion.
Ivan was the third major hurricane to strike the U.S. within a four-week period between August and September. Hurricane Frances made landfall in Florida Sept. 5, causing an estimated $4.4 billion in insured losses, according to PCS.
Taken together, Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan have caused $17.2 billion in insured losses so far, with PCS-projected losses for Hurricane Jeanne, which hit Florida on Sept. 25, still to come.
PCS will resurvey insurers in 60 days as more claims are filed and existing claims are closed. PCS resurveys all catastrophes exceeding $250 million or whenever specific circumstances require additional analysis.
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 policyholders and insurers.
PCS estimates represent anticipated insured losses on an industrywide basis arising from catastrophes, reflecting the total insurance payment for personal and commercial property items, business interruption and additional living expenses. The estimates exclude loss-adjustment expenses.
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