Insurers spend billions on large weather events from 2011

Joplin Tornado Damage StatisticsInsurance companies are continuing to make payments to policyholders who suffered damage from large severe weather events earlier this year.

Officials in Missouri have now named the tornado that ripped through Joplin’s center earlier in 2011 as the most expensive insurance event in the history of the state. It has been estimated that insurers have already spent approximately $1.13 billion on claims related to this occurrence, and that when all claims have been made and paid out, that number will have grown to almost $1.9 billion.

According to John Huff from the Missouri Department of Insurance, the tornado that struck Joplin was “the largest insurance event in Missouri history.” It should be noted that the current figure of $1.13 billion does not include losses from those who are under-insured or uninsured; a group which makes up almost 40 percent of the total 7,500 homes that were struck by the tornado on May 22.

Equally, Property Claim Services, the insurance industry service responsible for tracking the losses that result from various types of catastrophic event, has increased its estimates for Hurricane Irene’s insured property damage to $4.3 billion. These estimates use information gleaned from the results of confidential insurance company surveys as well as from its own database.

Hurricane Irene caused significant damage in North and South Carolina and much of New England. Even parts of New York City were evacuated as a precaution. There were 855,000 insurance claims following the storm, though the average claim was only just over $5,000.

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