Too Early for Sandy Loss Estimate: Allstate

November 15, 2012

The Allstate Corp. said that its catastrophe losses for the month of October 2012 will exceed $150 million, but said it could not report a more specific loss estimate at this time. Allstate said it will issue a catastrophe loss estimate for October when losses from Sandy can be estimated.

The company’s practice is to release an estimate of monthly catastrophe losses on the third Thursday following month-end when the amount exceeds $150 million.

Earlier this month, Allstate reported a larger profit for the third quarter on a decline in disaster losses and improving margins. Its chief executive said storm Sandy would not materially affect results this quarter.

Allstate, one of the biggest insurers in the northeastern United States, is considered one of the most exposed companies to insured losses from Sandy, which some estimate to be as much as $15 billion.

The impact of Sandy on Allstate should be “significant but not material” this quarter, CEO Tom Wilson said in a recent CNBC interview. He estimated that Sandy should end up among the five-worst U.S. hurricanes of all time by losses but said it “will not be meaningful in terms of our stability.”

Disaster losses had been down sharply this year for insurers before Sandy.

For the third quarter, Allstate reported a net profit of $723 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $175 million. Allstate’s disaster losses for the third quarter were down more than $800 million from a year earlier, when the company faced claims for Hurricane Irene.

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