Northeast Storms Await Cat Designation

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

Claims from the two snow storms that slammed the U.S. East Coast earlier this month are being monitored by ISO’s Property Claim Service (PCS) and could be designated a catastrophe in the coming weeks.

PCS has assigned a catastrophe serial number to each of two storms that dumped up to three feet of snow in areas of the U.S. Northeast, according to a statement from Gary Kerney, assistant vice president for PCS at ISO.

The PCS serial number is important because it is used by insurers to determine which losses will trigger reinsurance coverage and allows firms to track losses and reserves “related to a single, discrete event,” Kerney said.

PCS defines a catastrophe as an event that causes $25 million or more in direct insured property losses and affects “a significant number of policyholders and insurers.”

Earlier this month two storms — the first occurring between February 4-6 and the second between February 9-11 — set snowfall records in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The statement from Kerney points out that PCS has not yet issued any estimates of insured property damage from the two storms.

Last week, catastrophe modeler Eqecat estimated that insured losses from the two winter storms could reach $2 billion.