Insurers to Pay $11.5 Billion in Third-Quarter Catastrophe Claims, Says ISO’s Property Claim Services Unit

JERSEY CITY, N.J., October 27, 2008 — U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses an estimated $11.5 billion for third-quarter property losses resulting from a total of 11 catastrophes in 22 states — the fourth-largest insured property loss in a third quarter since 1998, according to preliminary analysis by ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.

PCS estimates the 11 catastrophes of third-quarter 2008 generated 1.7 million claims. Of the 11 catastrophes, six were caused by severe weather (wind, hail, tornadoes, and flooding) and five were caused by tropical systems.

The 22 affected states ranged from New Mexico to North Dakota to Virginia. Presently, the five states with the greatest insured losses are Texas ($6.4 billion), Louisiana ($1.9 billion), Ohio ($1.2 billion), Kentucky ($0.4 billion), and Illinois ($0.37 billion).

“These figures show that tropical systems can reach well inland and inflict extensive property damage — a fact that is often overlooked,” said Gary Kerney, assistant vice president, PCS.

Following is a summary of third-quarter property losses and frequency since 1998:

Year

Insured Property Loss ($)

Frequency

1998

4.07 billion

8

1999

2.72 billion

7

2000

315 million

3

2001

19.1 billion

4

2002

715 million

6

2003

3.72 billion

7

2004

23.7 billion

8

2005

48.4 billion

7

2006

1.25 billion

7

2007

1.25 billion

6

2008

11.5 billion

11

“Although the current estimates of insured property damage are not record-setting, the frequency of events continues a trend that has occurred all year: a high number of events coupled with significant insured losses,” added Kerney.

Through the first three quarters of 2008, PCS has declared 36 catastrophes. Those catastrophes have caused an estimated $22.1 billion of insured property damage and resulted in approximately 3.7 million claims. An estimated 2.5 million personal lines claims accounted for $14.5 billion of property damage, while 356,000 commercial lines claims cost an estimated $5.4 billion, and 840,000 vehicle claims cost insurers $2.2 billion.

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.

All estimates are subject to change as PCS continues to monitor loss reports from insurers.

About PCS
ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit serves property/casualty insurers and reinsurers as an authoritative source of catastrophe loss information, providing estimates of anticipated industrywide insured losses arising from catastrophes. The estimates reflect the total insurance payment for personal and commercial property items, business interruption, terrorism, workers compensation, and additional living expenses. The estimates exclude loss adjustment expenses.

About ISO
A leading source of information about risk, ISO provides data, analytics, and decision-support services to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, human resources, and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect, analyze, develop, and deliver information, ISO helps customers evaluate and manage risk. The company draws on vast expertise in actuarial science, insurance coverages, fire protection, fraud prevention, catastrophe and weather risk, predictive modeling, data management, economic forecasting, social and technological trends, and many other fields. To meet the needs of diverse clients, ISO employs an experienced staff of business and technical specialists, analysts, and certified professionals. In the United States and around the world, ISO helps 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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