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HURRICANE ANDREW INSURED DAMAGES IN LOUISIANA ESTIMATED AT $500 MILLION

HURRICANE ANDREW INSURED DAMAGES IN LOUISIANA ESTIMATED AT $500 MILLION
 Louisiana And Florida Losses Combined Total $7.8 Billion,
 Costliest Insured Disaster On Record
 BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The property and casualty insurance industry will pay an estimated $500 million in claims to victims of Hurricane Andrew in Louisiana.
 Yesterday in Miami insurers announced they expect to pay an estimated $7.3 billion in claims in Florida.
 The combined estimated claims payments for Louisiana and Florida total some $7.8 billion, making Hurricane Andrew the costliest disaster in U.S. insurance history.
 James J. Welsh, claims consultant, Property Claims Services (PCS) division of the American Insurance Services Group, Inc., provided the Louisiana estimate at a news briefing at the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner's office in Baton Rouge.
 Welsh said that estimates for losses in Louisiana under the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program are not known at the time.
 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, Aug. 23-24, then moved across the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and affected portions of Louisiana, Aug. 25-26.
 The PCS estimates includes damage insured under fire and allied lines, inland marine fixed property and comprehensive automobile coverages.
 PCS insured loss estimates do not include uninsured damage to government and military facilities or public property, including road and bridges; utility equipment, such as power lines; the cost of emergency services and, economic losses, such as crop damage and lost taxes.
 Welsh estimated that more than 500 additional insurance company claims adjusters from across the country and specially trained catastrophe teams arrived in the storm-affected areas of Louisiana as quickly as possible to respond immediately in handling the huge number of claims arising from Andrew.
 He estimates that approximately 200,000 claims will be reported in Louisiana alone as a result of the hurricane. In Florida, PCS has estimated that some 685,000 will be filed by policyholders.
 "The insurance industry began to settle claims immediately, making advance payments and providing assistance to storm victims in the recovery process," Welsh 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 of need."
 "Welsh said that PCS is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state insurance department, insurance industry association and agents' group, as well as other agencies to coordinate insurance company activities with the general recovery effort.
 Heaviest insured damage occurred in the parishes of Iberia, Assumption, Iberville, St. Martin, St. Mary and Terrebonne.
 As a result of Hurricane Andrew's destruction in Louisiana and Florida, estimated insured catastrophe losses to date in 1992 total $11.7 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.
 In insurance industry designated an event a catastrophe when the insured loss is expected to exceed $5 million.
 Hurricane Andrew was assigned Catastrophe Serial Number 27 by Property Claim Services.
 MARKET SHARE OF HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE IN LOUISIANA
 Company Percentage
 State Farm 32.1 pct
 Allstate 18.3
 American Intl. Group 7.5
 Southern Farm Bureau 5.0
 USAA 2.6
 Aetna 2.5
 CNA 2.5
 Independent Fire Ins. Co. 2.3
 Kemper 1.5
 USF&G 1.5
 ITT Hartford 1.2
 -0- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Rick Gentry, 512-476-7025, or Jeanne Salvatore, 212-669-9241, for Insurance Information Institute/ CO: Insurance Information Institute ST: Florida, Louisiana IN: INS SU: ECO


SH-SM -- NY044 -- 5996 09/02/92 14:32 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1992
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