updated 8/25/2004 11:24:42 AM ET 2004-08-25T15:24:42

Insurance firm Safeco said Wednesday that it expects claims for damages caused by Hurricane Charley along the southeastern United States last week, will reach $45 million, cutting third-quarter earnings by 22 cents per share.

The company said its estimate includes claims received through Aug. 24, as well as anticipated losses from claims not yet submitted, but does not account for reimbursements, if any, from Florida's hurricane catastrophe fund or Safeco's catastrophe reinsurance.

Safeco is expecting $25 million in losses from small businesses, and $20 million in losses from personal-insurance claims. The company said it already has made partial or full payments on some of the claims filed.

Hurricane Charley, the strongest storm to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew, reached Florida's coast on Aug. 13 and swept northward, killing 25 people and damaging thousands of homes and businesses with the force of its 145-mile per hour winds.

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