Seattle-based Safeco announced that claims stemming from Hurricane Charley are estimated at $45 million in pretax catastrophe losses. This figure represents the estimated losses both from claims received through Aug. 24, 2004 and future expected claims from policyholders whose homes or businesses were destroyed or damaged in the storm. The effect on third-quarter net income is estimated at $29 million after tax, or $0.22 per diluted share. These estimates do not anticipate any reimbursement from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund or Safeco’s property catastrophe reinsurance.
The estimated pretax losses include:
* $20 million in personal lines, primarily homeowners claims
* $25 million in small-business claims
“For our Florida customers and agents, these are trying times. In the course of a single day, thousands of homes and businesses were damaged, and people are now facing the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Times like these demonstrate the value of our insurance products and our claims professionals who are helping customers recover from this disaster,” said Mike McGavick, Safeco chairman and chief executive officer.
“As soon as we were permitted to enter the damaged areas, Safeco’s National Catastrophe Team began providing emergency funds to help people driven from their homes or businesses,” said McGavick. “We’re also providing support to agents whose power and phone services were disrupted. Where power is out or telephone access is limited, our claims professionals are visiting policyholders –whether or not they have submitted a claim.”
Safeco has made partial or full payments on many claims so the rebuilding process can begin.
The company will announce its third-quarter financial results on Oct. 19, 2004.
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