From the December 5-12, 2011 issue of National Underwriter Property & Casualty • Subscribe!

PCS Increases Loss Estimate for Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene appears to have a better chance of cracking a list of the Top 10 most costly U.S. hurricanes after a sizable increase in estimated losses was released from Property Claims Services (PCS).

Verisk Analytics’ PCS has raised its estimate of insured-property losses from the late August storm 18 percent to $4.3 billion.

PCS, which originally released an estimate of $3.65 billion, continues to monitor insurers’ daily reports of claims from many areas. Irene, either as a hurricane or tropical storm, impacted more than a dozen states on the East Coast.

Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 affected many of the same states as Hurricane Irene and caused about $4.18 billion (in 2010 dollars) in insured losses, making it the 10th costliest storm in U.S. history.

If insured-loss estimates from some of the catastrophe modelers are correct, Irene could move higher up on the list.

In September, modeler AIR Worldwide said it expects between $3 billion and $6 billion in insured losses in the U.S. from Hurricane Irene—meaning the storm could move ahead of the ninth costliest hurricane, Frances, also in 2004. Frances caused $5.25 billion in insured losses.

Catastrophe-modeler Eqecat said the U.S. can expect $1.5 billion to $2.8 billion in insured losses from Hurricane Irene, and modeler Risk Management Solutions submitted an estimate of $2 billion and $4.5 billion in the U.S.

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