Posted on 15 Jan 2008
Catastrophes last year cost U.S. property/casualty insurers an estimated $6.5 billion ($1.7 billion during fourth-quarter 2007 alone), the eighth-lowest catastrophe loss amount posted in the last 10 years, according to the Insurance Services Office Inc.’s Property Claim Services (PCS).
PCS found a total of 23 catastrophes (defined as an event causing $25 million or more in insured property losses and affecting a significant number of policyholders and underwriters) affected 41 states in 2007. The leader in catastrophe-related damage was California, which sustained the largest loss at $1.23 billion, with approximately $1.1 billion attributed to the recent wildfires in San Diego County. Second was Minnesota with approximately $747 million in damages; Texas, with $677 million; Georgia, with approximately $320 million; and Illinois, posting $272 million in damages.
Last year’s catastrophes sparked approximately 1.18 million claims, the majority of which were personal lines claims (about 721,000, representing approximately $4.4 billion), says PCS. Commercial lines claims topped 144,000, or an estimated $1.3 billion; and about 315,000 claims for vehicles, worth an estimated $800 million.