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Insured 2006 losses stand at $8.8 billion: PCS


JERSEY CITY, N.J.--Catastrophes caused an estimated $8.8 billion in insured property damage in 2006, the Insurance Services Office Inc.'s Property Claim Services reported Tuesday.

PCS said 33 U.S. catastrophes--which it defines as events that cause at least $25 million in insured property losses and that affect a significant number of policyholders and insurers--occurred last year.

The catastrophes generated more than 2.27 million claims, according to PCS. Personal lines accounted for 58% of the total number of claims, vehicle claims accounted for 33% and commercial lines claims accounted for 9%. In terms of dollar losses, personal lines claims accounted for 63% of the total; vehicles, 19%; and commercial lines, 18%.

Indiana sustained the heaviest insured losses at $1.5 billion followed by Missouri, at $878 million; Tennessee, at $873 million; Texas, at $688 million; and Kansas, at $601 million.

The $8.8 billion in 2006 insured losses represented a sharp decline from the hurricane-driven record $61.9 billion in 2005, but nonetheless registered as the sixth-highest total since 1997, according to PCS.

The frequency of catastrophe events rose last year to its second-highest level in a decade, PCS said.