Iowa EMC Insurance Reports Midwest Tornado Losses at $21 Million

May 15, 2007

EMC Insurance Cos. said it expects to see losses of up to $21 million from storms last weekend, including devastating tornadoes that killed at least 11 people in Kansas.

Des Moines-based EMC insures several businesses and homes in Greensburg, Kan., along with the town’s junior high school and high school and the Kiowa County government.

The first tornado, which struck just after 9 p.m. on May 4, killed nine people. It touched down near the county seat of Coldwater and roared along a 22-mile path straight through Greensburg, ending a little after 10 p.m., just northwest of town.

The tornado destroyed 90 percent or more of the farming town of about 1,400 people.

A second tornado stayed on the ground for 21 miles, ending outside Belpre in Edwards County just after 11 p.m., and a third twister cut across 17 miles of rural Kiowa, Pratt and Stafford counties. A fourth touched down nearby and cut across 13 miles of rural Stafford County.

Those storms claimed two more victims.

A tornado late Saturday in Ottawa County killed one woman, blew a trailer across a pasture and destroyed a home before damaging about 25 houses and cabins on a mile-long stretch of road along Bennington State Lake.

EMC said its adjusters were allowed into the damaged areas on Tuesday morning and began writing checks that day.

By Thursday morning, EMC adjusters had inspected all properties and vehicles except for some heavy equipment buried in debris.

“Because we experienced significant losses as a result of this storm, it may be awhile before final loss figures are known,” said William A. Murray, chief operating officer. “Current estimates range from $18 to $21 million after reinsurance, but before taxes.”

EMC Insurance Group Inc., a publicly traded division of parent EMC Insurance Cos., said Friday that losses associated with the storms are expected to range from 27 cents per share to 31 cents per share.

Favorable results during April will partially offset the impact of the losses on second quarter earnings, the company said in a statement.

The storm damage, however, prompted company officials to reduce its projection for 2007 operating income to $2.27 per share from $2.46 per share at the end of March. The revised projection is still within the original guidance range of $2.25 to $2.50 per share and management is therefore reaffirming this guidance, the company said.

EMC Insurance Group Inc. owns subsidiaries with operations in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance.

EMC Insurance Cos., identifies itself as one of the largest property and casualty companies in Iowa.

Source: EMC Insurance Cos.

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