This excerpt taken from the ALL 8-K filed Oct 23, 2008.
Catastrophe Mitigation Impact
Losses from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav were mitigated by catastrophe exposure management actions taken over the last several years, which include reductions in policies in force, reinsurance and policy changes. Reflecting the combination of reduced policies in force and ceded wind coverage in the coastal regions of Texas and Louisiana, at the beginning of the third quarter of 2008, the Companys catastrophe exposure was 42% and 33%, respectively, below 2006 levels. Reinsurance recoverables during the quarter offset losses by $246 million. Allstates analysis shows that the Companys losses from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav would have been approximately twice the amount recorded in the third quarter without the catastrophe exposure management actions and reinsurance programs put into place beginning in 2005.