JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 28, 2005 — U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses an estimated $2.1 billion for insured property-loss claims from eight catastrophes in the first quarter, according to preliminary estimates by ISO's Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.
This year's total first-quarter catastrophe losses were the second costliest since the first quarter of 1996 when the industry suffered losses of $2.6 billion. First-quarter catastrophe losses in the year-ago period were $1.04 billion.
PCS estimates the eight catastrophes will generate 535,000 claims from policyholders in 28 states, 61 percent of which are personal property, 14 percent commercial property and 25 percent vehicle claims.
The quarter's costliest catastrophe was the late March thunderstorms that pummeled the South and the East Coast for an estimated $655 million in losses.
Texas, at $565 million, headed the list of the five most severely affected states, followed by California at $275 million, Georgia at $220 million, Alabama at $150 million and Pennsylvania at $120 million.
Following is a summary of first-quarter loss and frequency of events in the past decade:
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 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.
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