Texas Hit Hard By 2008 Catastrophes

ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit yesterday reported that U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay $25.2 billion in property losses from 37 catastrophes in 2008. This is the fourth highest cost in a decade and the highest frequency in a decade, according to preliminary analysis by PCS. Among the states affected, Texas took by far the biggest hit from catastrophes ($10.2 billion in insured losses). Louisiana, with $2.2 billion in insured losses experienced the next largest loss. A couple of other takeaways from the report: six consecutive tropical systems (Dolly, Eduoard, Fay, Hanna, Gustav and Ike) made landfall on U.S. coastlines in 2008; and unusually frequent tornado touchdowns and related insured property damage contributed to record-setting frequency and significant losses in the first six months of 2008. Hurricanes caused the largest loss of 2008, currently estimated at $13.3 billion in insured damage, while severe weather events (including hail and tornadoes) caused an estimated $10.5 billion in losses. Winter storms resulted in just over $1 billion in losses, PCS noted. For more on 2008 catastrophe losses, check out highlights from a recent webinar hosted by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).  

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