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Property/Casualty Payouts Hit $25B in 2008

U.S. property/casualty insurers are expected to pay out $25.2 billion in 2008 property losses, the fourth highest annual total in a decade, according to new data released Tuesday from an industry group.

The 37 catastrophes, defined as events with $25 million or more in insured property losses, include hurricanes, severe weather, winter storms and tropical storms, said the Insurance Service Organization's Property Claim Services Unit (PCS). Hurricanes caused the largest amount of loss, currently estimated at $13.3 billion in insured damage. Severe weather events -- damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes, and flooding -- caused an estimated $10.5 billion. Winter storms caused $1 billion in losses, and two tropical storms caused $300 million.

The state of Texas far surpassed all other states with $10.2 billion in insured losses. Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Georgia rounded out the top five with losses ranging from $1 billion to $2.2 billion.

State Farm Lloyds and Allstate Texas Lloyds, a unit of Allstate (ALL - Get Report), are the two largest homeowners insurers in Texas with $1.6 billion and $600 million in 2007 premiums, respectively. 2007 is the most recent annual premium data available. State Farm Lloyds has a Financial Strength Rating of B- (Good) while Allstate Texas Lloyds is rated a B (Good).

Travelers Lloyds Insurance Co., a unit of Travelers Companies (TRV - Get Report), writes homeowners, farmowners, and commercial multi peril coverage in Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana and Minnesota. It had combined 2007 premium volume in those four states of $1.8 billion. It also has a B- (Good) Financial Strength Rating from Ratings.

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