Tornado Losses Could Reach Hundreds of Millions
The March 2, 2012 tornado outbreak, which ravaged the Tennessee Valley, the Ohio Valley, and the South will go down in the record books as one of the worst, if not the worst, March tornado events on record. NOAA’s current count of confirmed twisters is 45 and will surely rise as storm surveys are completed.
As it is with most natural disasters, we are still early in the recovery process and estimates of insured losses may be days away. Insurers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in insured losses from the past week’s tornado devastation, but knowing the exact figures will take some time according to catastrophe modelers. The catastrophic storms claimed at least 37 lives in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, the three states hit the hardest, according to The Wall Street Journal. Catastrophe modeling company Eqecat said that this year’s storm season already is running almost 30 percent higher than the average of recent years.
Recovery efforts have been moving smoothly in Missouri, according to Larry Case, vice president for PIA affiliate the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA). He said agents are telling him that the response from carriers has been “very good.” Case said one of the biggest issues in Branson is finding accommodations for tourists who were visiting the area because hotels were heavily damaged. He added that the damage in Branson is not as extensive as last year’s tornado that destroyed Joplin, Mo., which claimed 116 lives.
Read more on the losses from the tornadoes in the South and Midwest: Insurers Will Be On Hook for Hundreds of Millions (National Underwriter 3/5/12)