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The average fire loss estimate in 2014 was $41,256.

The average fire loss estimate was $41,256

A quiet year for major catastrophes did not translate into fewer losses for insurers, according to the Xactware 2014 Property Report.

“Although 2014 was a quiet year for catastrophes overall, severe weather damage from wind, hail, lightning and tornadoes was at the fourth-highest level in history,” said Greg Pyne, Xactware’s assistant vice president of Pricing Data Services in a statement. “The trend of high damage from severe weather continued to trouble the industry in 2014.” Total insured losses due to thunderstorms saw the fourth highest number on record with $12.3 billion.

The report tracks claims from events such as fires, water damage, hail and wind and highlights trends so insurers can see areas of risk.

 According to the study, Xactware’s XactAnalysis network processed 4,218,586 claims estimates valued at $38,569,780,316. Year-over-year, the January 2014 total of $3.02 billion for property estimates was over $270 million higher than the January 2013 figure of $2.76 billion. The month seeing the most claims activity was June with a reported $4.44 billion in estimates. July came in second with 3.96 billion in property estimates, followed by October with $3.39 billion. The two months with the lowest estimate totals were November with $2.28 billion and December with $2.46 billion.

The cost of the average fire loss continued its downward trend, dropping almost 9% from $45,268 in 2013 to $41,256 in 2014. The average cost of a fire loss in 2012 was $46,374.

The number of water losses increased from 865,043 in 2013 to 1,208,297 and were the most common types of losses reported in 2014. The average cost of a water loss claim dropped 4% from $6,360 in 2013 to $6,089 in 2014.

 

Hail damage estimates also continued to increase, growing by almost 15.5% from 986,010 in 2013 to 1,173,099 in 2014, but the average cost of the estimates remained basically the same from year to year.

Xactimate tracks the losses from five primary sources: contractors, independent adjusters, mitigation providers, specialty providers and staff adjusters. The majority of the claims (65%) were compiled by staff adjusters (2,768,753), followed by independent adjusters with 958,447 claims (22%). Contractors (255,077) and mitigation providers (235, 301) each only compiled 6% of the claims, and specialty providers (32,239) only 1%. According to the study, the claims estimates did not include any reassigned estimates.

The average price of the estimates for all of these professionals dropped from 2014 to 2013. Specialty providers saw the biggest drop in estimate costs going from $6,635 to $3,871, a drop of $2,764. Independent adjusters saw a $1,390 decrease in their average estimates. Contractors and mitigation specialists saw minimal decreases.

Fire losses uploaded by staff adjusters were the highest estimates with an average value of $46,363, but the number was still 10% lower than the 2013 figure of $52,012. Fire estimates from independent adjusters averaged $41,565 per estimate, and contractors submitted the lowest estimates at $22,713.

Hail losses from specialty providers were the next highest estimates, running just over $20,000, almost twice as high as the estimates submitted by staff adjusters, independent adjusters and mitigation providers.

Texas reported the highest number of personal property claims valued at $322.3 million, but California actually reported the highest total value at $411.3 million. Colorado reported the most personal property claims with five claims per 1,000 residents. Nebraska reported 4.36 per 1,000 residents; Washington, D.C. had 3.62 and Maryland came in fourth with 3.35 per 1,000 residents. Florida residents were the least likely to file property claims with only .53 per 1,000 residents.

Jim Loveland, Xactware’s president and CEO said, “The property industry continues to face rapidly changing conditions” and the report “offers property professionals an edge by helping them identify and respond to trends in 2014 that are likely to continue into 2015 and subsequent years.”

Courtesy of Property Casualty 360; Feb 10, 2015 | By:  Patricia L. Harman

Posted 12:19 PM  View Comments

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