Disaster declaration renewed in Texas as devastating drought persists

Texas Governor Rick Perry has renewed a declaration of disaster regarding the state’s ongoing and costly drought. Last year, the declaration was renewed several times, as the drought showed no signs of relenting. According to the National Weather Service, 2011 was the driest year Texas has ever known and the second hottest. The conditions ignited several wildfires throughout the state that caused damage to hundreds of homes and ruining thousands of acres of land. Insurers have been battling the disaster as fervently as state officials, but there seems to be…

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State Farm petitions Texas insurance regulators to deem the state’s wildfires an official catastrophe

Texas has been battling an outbreak of wildfires since the beginning of September. The fires have wrought carnage throughout the state, burning more than 1 million acres and more than 1,000 homes. The catastrophe has put enormous pressure on the state’s insurers who have been struggling to mitigate the damage caused by the fires. The disaster is so serious that State Farm Insurance has petitioned the Texas Department of Insurance to designate the wildfires as an official catastrophe. The petition was submitted to the Department on September 12, but regulators…

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Homeowners may see less coverage following changes made by State Farm

State Farm has announced that it will be making changes to the deductibles in its homeowner insurance, and consumer advocates are concerned that this will decrease the amount that will be paid on consumers’ claims. The insurer also released a notice to insurance regulators in Texas, stating its intentions to increase homeowner insurance rates, starting in October, by an average of 9.6 percent. State farm is the largest insurer in the state. It also announced that, starting in December, it would be moving all of its current customers over to…

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Texas wildfires wreak havoc on citizens and the insurance industry

Texas is battling a raging wildfire that has broken out in Bastrop, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. The fires have already scorched more than 100,000 acres of land and burned several hundred homes throughout Central Texas. Many communities have been evacuated as no end is currently in sight for the wildfires. The disaster is expected to add to the financial strain bearing down on the nation’s insurance industry, which is already reeling from two costly flooding disasters stemming from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Insurers are estimating that the…

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Slower Winds Bring Hope to Firefighters Battling Texas Wildfires

BOSTON, Sept. 6, 2011 – According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, fire crews in Texas have fought nearly 19,000 wildfires since the beginning of this year. Approximately 3.6 million acres-an area the size of Connecticut-have been consumed in the state, accounting for nearly half of all the acreage burned by wildfires in the entire United States this year.  “The fires have been especially severe because of the 2011 southern United States drought that has persisted throughout the year,” said Dr. Tomas Girnius, senior research scientist at AIR Worldwide. “The…

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Texas drought costing billions in losses

While much of the South in inundated with water, Texas is suffering from one of the worst droughts in recent history. Last week, the level of drought rose a staggering 22%, putting the level at 48%. There have been more than 9,000 wildfires throughout the state, causing damage to some 400 homes and burning 2.2 million acres of land. Texas officials are seeking aid from the federal government to help mitigate the expected $3 billion in losses because of the severe drought. Farmers across the state are reporting damage to…

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