A.M. Best's recent catastrophe-related loss estimates reveal a bad first nine months of 2011 for U.S. P&C insurers. According to the agency's briefing “U.S. Property/Casualty Catastrophe Losses Climb to $38.6 Billion for the First Nine Months of 2011,” the estimated total net pretax accident-year catastrophe-related losses were $38.6 billion, up $22.5 billion (140 percent), from an estimated $16.1 billion reported during the same period a year ago.

A.M. Best says the Midwest and Southeast tornadoes and hailstorms in April and May were the main contributors to the high numbers. Other contributors included flooding, blizzards, wildfires and Hurricane Irene.

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