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Catastrophe frequency and losses below average in Q1 2014: PCS


The first-quarter of 2014 saw the frequency of catastrophe events and resulting insurance industry losses both slightly below average, according to Property Claim Services (PCS) Q1 2014 catastrophe report.

PCS designated six catastrophe events during the first-quarter of 2014, all of which were in the U.S., with no designated events occurring in Canada. These six events resulted in $2.2 billion of insured catastrophe losses in the United States, according to PCS, with the severe winter weather the main culprit. Five of the six PCS designated catastrophe events were from winter storms, including the polar vortex event from January.

Q1 2014 catastrophe loss event frequency and insured losses

Q1 2014 U.S. catastrophe loss event frequency and insured losses - Source: PCS

The six events affecting the U.S. causing $2.2 billion of insured catastrophe losses is slightly below the ten-year average from 2005 to 2014, according to PCS. PCS notes that the first-quarter of 2014 was the quietest Q1 since 2011 in the U.S. for catastrophe losses.

The polar vortex alone was responsible for more than $1.5 billion of the insured losses, with losses being recorded across 17 U.S. states. In total 19 states were affected by catastrophe losses in Q1, with Georgia sustaining the most insured catastrophe losses at $318m, New York second at $296m and Pennsylvania next at $219m.

For comparison, in 2013 Mississippi suffered the highest level of losses with $805m, followed by Georgia with $640m and Louisiana third at $503m.

75% of the Q1 catastrophe losses in 2014 were from personal lines insurance business amounting to $1.75 billion. Commercial losses were next at 23% of the total while auto losses were low at just 2%. For the polar vortex alone, 73% of losses were personal, 26.7% commercial and just 0.3% auto.

You can access the report from PCS via its website.

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