Insured Losses from March Tornadoes in Mo. Hit $394 Million

April 12, 2006

As state and federal teams assess damage from last week’s severe storms, losses from earlier storms and tornadoes are becoming clear, according to an Associated Press news account.

The first round of severe weather in 2006 killed ten and damaged thousands of buildings in Missouri. Insured losses from the storms, which dropped dozens of tornadoes in mid-March, add up to more than $394 million.

The Missouri Department of Insurance asked the 25 insurance companies with the most clients in the state to estimate their insured losses. With only one company, which has less than 1 percent of the marketplace, left to report, the storms prompted 100,963 claims and an average loss per claim of $3,903, the agency said.

More than 61,000 claims for vehicles totaled $135 million in damages, while the 40,000 homeowners’ claims totaled $259 million.

The most recent storms, which killed 28 people in several states, hit the hardest in Pemiscot County and its county seat, Caruthersville. Officials from the State Emergency Management Agency report that building inspections in the Bootheel city found 112 structures were destroyed, 239 are uninhabitable and 247 were only partially habitable. An additional 358 buildings were cleared.

Thus far, only 50 rental units have been identified in the area. And state and federal emergency officials plan to use the Army Corps of Engineers to provide $5 million worth of temporary dwellings. Federal officials estimate it will take at least two more days before its building inspections can begin.

Disaster assessments from the latest storms are continuing, with inspectors finding damage to 450 homes and 42 businesses in St. Francois County and nine homes and four businesses in St. Louis County.

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