National Business Digest

Insurance companies paidout 8.8B in 2006 claims
NEW YORK -- The insurance industry paid some 8.8 billion in claims in the United States in 2006 -- a sharp drop from hurricane-plagued 2005, the ISO's Property Claim Services unit reported Tuesday.
Property Claim Services, which is based in Jersey City, N.J., said there were 33 catastrophic events last year, the highest frequency since 37 in 1998. In 2005, 24 events were classified as catastrophes, but they included Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita and resulted in insured losses of a record 61.9 billion, the company said.
First Place earned 6.5Mfor last quarter of 2006
WARREN -- First Place Financial Corp. earned 6.5 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, compared with 6 million in the same quarter last year. Earnings per share last quarter were 38 cents, compared with 41 cents in the same quarter last year. First Place recently issued 2.3 million shares of stock as part of the purchase of Northern Savings. First Place is the holding company for First Place Bank and other companies.
Associated Press

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