ISO says 1st quarter catastrophe losses are $3.35 billion

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The ISO (Insurance Services Office) has announced that U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay out approx $3.35 billion for losses resulting from catastrophes in the first quarter 2008.

Eight of the losses were natural catastrophes and represent the greatest frequency in the first quarter since 1999, the insured property loss however is the greatest for a decade.

Of 22 states affected, the five with the largest losses were Georgia ($610 million), Tennessee ($535 million), California ($360 million), Texas ($270 million), and Arkansas ($223 million).

Here’s a summary of first-quarter losses and frequency since 1999:

Year

Insured Loss ($)

Frequency

1999

$1.87 billion

5

2000

$1.98 billion

7

2001

$680 million

3

2002

$615 million

3

2003

$1.48 billion

5

2004

$1.04 billion

5

2005

$2.14 billion

8

2006

$1.48 billion

7

2007

$1.26 billion

7

2008

$3.35 billion

9

The costliest event of the quarter, at $955 million, was caused by an outbreak of severe weather that spread from Texas to Ohio in early February. That catastrophe caused about 120,000 losses in the eight affected states. Claims in personal lines produced 56 percent of the total $3.35 billion loss for the quarter, or nearly $1.9 billion. The commercial property loss was 31 percent of the total, or just over $1 billion. The loss involving insured vehicles totaled almost $0.5 billion, or 13 percent of the total loss.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.

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