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US Property insurers pay third highest in a decade

U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay homeowners and businesses $6.5 billion for 2007 property losses from 23 catastrophes’ the third highest in a decade and the forth highest frequency for the same period, according to preliminary analysis by ISO’s Property Claim Services Unit.

PCS estimates that insurers paid 1.18 million claims for damage in 41 states resulting from 2007’s 23 catastrophes. More than 721,000 personal lines claims accounted for $4.4 billion, while 144,000 commercial lines claims cost an estimated $1.3 billion, and 315,000 vehicle claims cost insurers an estimated $800 million.

Among the 41 states experiencing insured losses from catastrophes, following are the states with the largest losses:

State Loss ($)
California $1.23 billion
Minnesota $747 million
Texas $677 million
Georgia $320 million
Illinois $272 million
Oklahoma $270 million
Kansas $262 million
Missouri $223 million
New York $202 million
Colorado $200 million
Alabama $200 million

The costliest events to insurers in 2007 were due to severe weather that resulted in $1.35 billion of insured damage from Texas to Maine and the Witch Fire in San Diego County, California, which caused an estimated $1.1 billion in losses.

For the second year in a row, the United States dodged a devastating hurricane, says Gary Kerney, assistant vice president, PCS. ―With the exception of Humberto, which made landfall in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana in September, no other hurricane made landfall on U.S. territory in 2007.

Fourth-quarter 2007 PCS estimates that insurers paid $1.7 billion of insured property loss resulting from four catastrophes between October and December 2007 the fourth costliest fourth quarter in the last decade. The four catastrophes caused insured damage in nine states and a total of 159,000 claims.

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