Insurers Total Claim Activity From Isabel

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By Gary Mogel

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NU Online News Service, Sept. 24, 11:01 a.m.EDT

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"Isabel will fall generally within the range of catastrophicrisk that insurers anticipated and built into insurance premiums,"said Bob Hartwig, chief economist at Insurance InformationInstitute in New York.

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Catastrophe modeling firm Risk Management Solutions Inc., basedin Newark, Calif., estimates $600 million in wind claims and atotal for all insured Isabel-related losses--including flood--of $1billion. "This storm had a very broad wind field with a large areaof low-level damage," said Michael Drayton, head of climate hazardsat RMS.

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Insurers have started reporting the number and type of claimscaused by the storm:

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? State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., based in Bloomington,Ill., and the largest personal lines insurer in the U.S, has hadabout 28,000 personal automobile and homeowners claims from Isabel,noted spokesperson Mary Beth Cramer.

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? Allstate Corp. in Northbrook, Ill., has reported 15,457property claims and 1,394 auto claims in Virginia; 4,215 propertyclaims and 430 auto claims in Maryland; and 2,306 property claimsand 341 auto claims in North Carolina, said spokesperson BillMellander.

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? Liberty Mutual Insurance Company spokesperson Glenn Greenbergreported about 5,100 claims so far, all but 30 of which arepersonal lines--predominantly homeowners claims. He also noted thatLiberty estimates $10 million to $11 million in total insuredlosses from the hurricane.

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? Holly Diefenbaugh, a spokesperson for Columbus, Ohio-basedNationwide Mutual Insurance Co., said that there have beenapproximately 25,000 claims filed with the insurer so far relatedto Isabel, the vast majority of which are in North Carolina,Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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? The Hartford has received about 2,000 Isabel-related claims sofar, said Cynthia Michener, a spokesperson for the Hartford,Conn.-based insurer. But only around 50 of those claims areconsidered heavy damage, she added.

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? Chubb Group, based in Warren, N.J., does not yet have acomplete picture of the extent of loss caused by Isabel, accordingto spokesperson Mark Schussel. But he indicated that Chubb doeswrite homeowners coverage in the affected states, specializing inhigh-valued and historic homes.

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