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HURRICANE ANDREW INSURED DAMAGES IN FLORIDA ESTIMATED AT $7.3 BILLION, COSTLIEST INSURED DISASTER ON RECORD

 HURRICANE ANDREW INSURED DAMAGES IN FLORIDA ESTIMATED AT
 $7.3 BILLION, COSTLIEST INSURED DISASTER ON RECORD
 MIAMI, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The property/casualty insurance industry will pay an estimated $7.3 billion in claims to victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, making the storm the costliest disaster in U.S. insurance history.
 This preliminary estimate does not include insured losses from Hurricane Andrew in Louisiana or other areas effected by the storm.
 Gary R. Kerney, director-catastrophe services, Property Claim Services (PCS) division of the American Insurance Services Group, Inc., provided the estimate at a news briefing at the Sheraton River House in Miami.
 PCS also said that reports from the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program are that flood losses on Florida covered by NFIP are estimated at an additional $50 million.
 Prior to Andrew, Hurricane Hugo, Sept. 17-22, 1989, had been the costliest hurricane, with insured losses estimated at $4.2 billion.
 Hurricane Andrew, accompanied by high winds, flooding and tornadoes struck the Bahamas and Florida, August 23-24, then moved across the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and affected portions of Louisiana and other southeastern states, Aug. 25-26.
 The insured loss estimate for Florida does not include uninsured damage to government and military facilities or public property, including roads and bridges; utility equipment, such as power lines; the cost of emergency services and, economic losses, such as crop damage and lost taxes.
 Kerney reported that more than 1,500 additional insurance company claims adjusters from across the country and specially trained catastrophe teams arrived in the storm-affected areas of Florida as quickly as possible to respond immediately in handling the huge number of claims arising from Andrew.
 He estimated that approximately 685,000 claims will be reported in Florida alone as a result of the hurricane.
 "The insurance industry began to settle claims immediately making advance payments and providing assistance to storm victims in the recovery process," Kerney said.
 We believe the industry has an adequate number of adjusters on hand to cope with the situation as it now stands," he said. "Additional experienced adjusters will be brought into the area if needed."
 Kerney said that PCS is working with Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state insurance department, the governor's office, insurance industry associations and agents' groups, as well as other agencies to coordinate insurance company activities with the general recovery effort.
 Heaviest insured damage occurred in counties on Florida's east coast. In Dade County alone, insured damage was estimated at more than $6 billion. The total estimated insured loss also includes damage that occurred in Broward, Palm Beach, Collier and Monroe Counties.
 Insured loss estimate for Louisiana are expected to be available later in the week.
 As a result of Hurricane Andrew's destruction in Florida, estimated insured catastrophe losses to date in 1992 total $11.2 billion. That already makes 1992 the worst year on record for catastrophe losses, topping the old record of $7.6 billion set in 1989 -- the year of Hurricane Hugo and the Loma Prieta earthquake in California.
 The insurance industry designates an event a catastrophe when the insured losses is expected to exceed $5 million.
 Hurricane Andrew was assigned Catastrophe Serial Number 27 by Property Claim Services.
 The Ten Most Costly Insured Catastrophes of 1992
 Estimated Month Perils Insured Loss
 August Hurricane Andrew -- wind,
 tornadoes and flooding $7,300,000,000
 April-May L.A. Riots 775,000,000
 June Wind; hail; tornadoes KS & OK 570,000,000
 April Wind; hail; tornadoes, flooding
 TX & OK 460,000,000
 March Wind; hail; tornadoes, flooding
 TX, LA & FL 385,000,000
 April Water damage, IL 300,000,000
 April Wind, hail, IA, KS, MO, OK 275,000,000
 June Wind, hail, tornadoes, flooding
 TX, OK, NM CO 220,000,000
 June Wind, hail, tornadoes, flooding
 CO, KS, NE, SD, IA, MN 215,000,000
 June Wind, hail, tornadoes, flooding
 KS, NE, IA, IL, MO, IN, OH, PA,
 NY, CT, RI, NJ 150,000,000
 The Ten Most Costly Insured Catastrophes
 Estimated
 Month/Year Perils Insured Loss
 August 1992 Hurricane Andrew $7,300,000,000
 September 1989 Hurricane Hugo: wind, flooding,
 tornadoes 4,195,000,000
 October 1991 Oakland fire 1,200,000,000
 October 1989 Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake 960,000,000
 December 1983 Wind, snow, freezing, 41 states 880,000,000
 April-May 1992 L.A. Riots 775,000,000
 September 1979 Hurricane Frederic: wind, tornadoes,
 flooding 752,510,000
 September 1965 Hurricane Betsy 515,000,000
 August 1983 Hurricane Alicia 675,520,000
 July 1990 Wind, Hail, tornadoes, Denver 625,000,000
 Source: Property Claim Services division, American Insurance Services Group, Inc.
 -0- 9/1/92
 /CONTACT: Jeanne Salvatore or Property Claim Services of American Insurance Services Group, Inc., 212-669-9241/ CO: Insurance Information Institute ST: Florida IN: INS SU:


TS-SL -- NY031 -- 5395 09/01/92 11:29 EDT
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