Pummeled by Hurricane Katrina and six other natural catastrophes in the third quarter, U.S. property/casualty insurers paid an all-time record $40.8 billion to homeowners and businesses for insured property losses in 14 states, according to preliminary estimates by ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit. The loss tally already makes 2005 the costliest year for catastrophe damage.
The quarter’s catastrophe losses compare with the $23.7 billion loss in third-quarter 2004 – the industry’s previous worst third quarter – and $3.7 billion in third-quarter 2003.
Insured losses during the first nine months of 2005 now stand at $43.8 billion from 19 catastrophic events in 37 states – the industry’s worst nine-month period ever – compared with $24.7 billion during the same period last year.
PCS estimates the quarter produced nearly 2.3 million claims for damage to personal and commercial property, vehicles, boats and yachts.
At $34.4 billion, Hurricane Katrina was the quarter’s costliest event, followed by Hurricanes Rita ($4.7 billion) and Dennis ($1.1 billion).
Louisiana was the hardest-hit state, with $25.04 billion in insured losses, followed by Mississippi at $9.9 billion, Texas at $2.2 billion, Alabama at $1.5 billion and Florida at $1.3 billion.
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