Sugar Refinery Explosion Among Nine First-Quarter Catastrophes

Eight natural events in the first quarter of 2008 and one workplace disaster, the February explosion and fire at a sugar mill in Port Wentworth, Ga., will cost U.S. property/casualty insurers an estimated $3.35 billion in payments to business and home owners, Insurance Journal magazine reported online today. The nine events were declared catastrophes by the Property Claim Services unit of Insurance Services Office, with the Port Wentworth explosion declared solely because of its workers' compensation loss, the magazine reported.

PCS is an authority on insured property losses from catastrophes in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; it investigates reported disasters and determines the extent and type of damage, dates of occurrence, and geographic areas affected.

Insurance Journal reported that no estimate has been made of the extent of the insured workers' comp loss in the Feb. 7 sugar mill blast, in which a dust explosion is the suspected cause. PCS estimated the other eight catastrophes in the first quarter, all weather related, generated 615,000 claims in 22 states. The estimated insured property loss is the largest for this quarter in the past decade, the magazine reported at www.insurancejournal.com.

For more information about ISO and PCS, visit www.iso.com.

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