Alabama Tornadoes Worst in State’s History
Recent data revealed that the tornadoes that slammed Alabama on April 27, 2011 resulted in about 200,000 insurance claims and almost $3 billion in claim payouts. Ragan Ingram, chief of staff at the Alabama Department of Insurance, labeled the tornadoes the “worst event in state history in terms of insured losses.” He said the insurance payouts from the storms surpassed Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina, the second and third worst events in the state, respectively. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reports that Alabama had $2.925 billion in claim payouts as a result of the 2011 storms, or about 40 percent of all claims from the multistate tornado outbreak that occurred from April 22 to 28. Robert Hartwig, I.I.I. president, said that the tornado disasters were not only the deadliest in Alabama's history, but they were also the costliest in terms of property damage and business interruption claims. The I.I.I. also reported that Alabama homeowners, renters and condominium policyholders received $1.65 billion -- or 57 percent of the payouts -- with businesses getting $1.12 billion -- or 38 percent and auto policyholders receiving the remaining $150 million.
According to Alabama Insurance Department records, about 20 insurers have had rate increases approved by the department commissioner since September 2011. The requests for increases have ranged from about 5 percent to as much as 20 percent. “April 27th was a once-in-250-years event,” Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling says.