2011 – Insurers Take Another Hit

stormwarning_328x222The Allstate Corporation says it expects to take $1.08 billion in pre-tax third-quarter catastrophe losses.

The Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer says September catastrophe losses are expected to total $215 million from seven events. An Allstate spokesperson declined to say what those seven events were, and says the company will provide no further information about the losses until it releases its third-quarter results.

Allstate says its catastrophe-loss announcement is part of a previously announced plan to release such data when a monthly estimate exceeds $150 million.

Yesterday, the Travelers Companies reported that its third-quarter net income dropped 67 percent, primarily due to $606 million in catastrophe losses it incurred during the period.

Catastrophe losses have hurt insurers throughout the year so far. For the 2011 first half, the Insurance Services Office and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America say net losses on underwriting grew $19 billion to more than $24 billion.

Insurance rating service A.M. Best says U.S. property and casualty industry underwriting for the 2011 first half fell 67 percent to $6.9 billion, and its statutory combined ratio deteriorated more than 9 points to nearly 110 during that time.

What can an insured do to prevent claims in the upcoming winter season? Have your furnaces tuned up and cleaned. Check smoke pipes for any leaking smoke and shovel walkways to prevent slippage. Be sure not to use any heating devices that are not according to city codes.