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1992 ALREADY ONE OF THE WORST YEARS ON RECORD FOR CATASTROPHES, SAYS INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE

 1992 ALREADY ONE OF THE WORST YEARS ON RECORD FOR CATASTROPHES,
 SAYS INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
 NEW YORK, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Insurance companies are paying out $3.7 billion in property insurance claims stemming from natural and man-made catastrophes in the first half of 1992, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
 While only halfway through the year, the $3.7 billion total already makes 1992 the third costliest year on record in terms of insured property damage from catastrophes.
 The single largest insured disaster during the first half of 1992 was the April riot in Los Angeles, which resulted in an estimated $775 million in insurance claims. Insurance claims from the Los Angeles riot make it the fifth largest insured loss in U.S. history.
 The record year for catastrophes was 1989, when insurers helped policyholders recover from $7.6 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Hugo, the Loma Prieta earthquake in California, and other disasters.
 The second worst year for disasters was 1991, when insured losses were $4.2 billion, including $1.2 billion for the damage caused by fire in Oakland, Calif.
 "The insurance industry, with capital of $160 billion, has the financial strength to absorb these losses. It is unlikely that any insurance companies will become insolvent as a result of these catastrophes," said Sean Mooney, senior vice president and economist of the Insurance Information Institute.
 "The catastrophes will have minimal effects on property insurance rates," he added. Losses from disasters are spread over 30-40 years, he explained, and have only a minor effect on rates in the year following a catastrophe.
 Property insurance claims payments estimates are compiled by the Property Claim Services (PCS) division of American Insurance Services Group, Inc. PCS tracks any disaster which causes more than $5 million in insured property damage.
 Catastrophes are ranked on the basis of dollars paid at the time of the event and are not adjusted for inflation.
 PCS estimates cover insured damage to homes, apartments, vehicles, personal property, commercial property and pleasure boats. The estimates do not include damage insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.
 Other major disaster-related claim payouts during the first six months of 1992 included insured losses of $570 million from severe storms, including tornadoes and hail, in Kansas and Oklahoma June 19-20 and $460 million from large hail, thunderstorms and high winds that swept through Texas and Oklahoma April 28-29.
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Cary Schneider of the Insurance Information Institute, 212-669-9200/ CO: Insurance Information Institute ST: New York IN: INS SU: ECO


GK-AH -- NY066 -- 1364 07/21/92 12:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1992
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