The East Coast has been assaulted by a violent and unprecedented snow storm. The storm moved in last week ahead of Halloween and the effects were most acutely felt in New York City. The insurance industry is still reeling from devastating natural disasters that occurred earlier in the year, many of which cost billions of dollars in insured losses. According to government officials, the storm has become the 11th economic disaster hitting the nation this year.
Thus far, the storm has claimed eight lives and left 2.2 million people without power throughout the state of New York. Some 300 roads in the state were closed due to heavy snowfall while railways in New York City were shut down entirely. According to state officials, the storm has caused more than $45 billion in economic damage. The storm will also reap a toll on the auto insurance industry as heavy snow and winds shook large branches from trees. Most of the damage caused to properties and vehicles is the result of falling tree limbs.
The storm has been declared an official catastrophe, which will allow insurers to access government resources to help with the recovery effort. Nationwide, one of the largest insurers in the region, has received more than 500 claims thus far, but is expecting many more to come in as investigators assist policyholders in surveying the damage wrought by the unexpected storm.