Posted on 13 Jul 2011
Adding to what had already been an expensive quarter for natural-disaster claims, Allstate Corp. said it had about $300 million of catastrophe losses in June.
Combined with previously announced losses from April and May, the insurer is now estimating catastrophe costs of $2.3 billion before taxes for the second quarter, the largest disaster tally for the company since Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. in 2005.
The quarterly spike in claims comes primarily from a series of severe tornadoes that killed hundreds of people and caused extensive damage in Alabama, Missouri and more than a dozen other states. Disaster-modeling company AIR estimates a cluster of twisters in late April and another in late May were the two largest tornado losses on record, and caused up to $12.5 billion in insured losses combined.
Allstate said in a statement Wednesday that the June losses were the result of 13 separate events.
Other insurers have also warned of substantial losses in the second quarter. Travelers Cos. said last month it was curtailing its stock-buyback program as it estimated after-tax losses of about $1 billion for April and May.
For Allstate, the second quarter promises to be its most expensive for natural disasters since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused the company to report $4.71 billion in catastrophe costs in the third quarter of 2005. The company is scheduled to report complete second-quarter results Aug. 1.
While the record-breaking hurricanes of 2005 caused the insurance industry to boost its expectations of losses along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, the increasing severity of thunderstorms, hailstorms and tornadoes across the Midwest in more recent years has also caused many insurers to raise prices, increase deductibles and limit new sales.
Allstate has been among the most vocal about its efforts to limit its losses from such events.