Iowa Storms Yield $160 Million in Insurance Claims

June 11, 2008

Storms that hit Iowa during the Memorial Day weekend have led to about $160 million in claims, according to an insurance information company.

The New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office’s property claims unit estimated about 10,000 claims have been filed with insurers due to the storms, including a tornado that hit Parkersburg and nearby communities. The tornado killed eight people.

Included in the estimates are five Iowa insurers, which reported $88 million to $96 million in claims.

The highest public estimate from the Parkersburg tornado came from Grinnell Mutual, which reported $37.5 million in claims for policies issued by the company, a subsidiary or affiliated insurers. Those companies have taken 1,440 claims.

Des Moines-based EMC Insurance Cos. estimated its tornado losses at $29 million. The losses would be $14 million after reinsurance recoveries, a backup insurers take that reduces their exposure to catastrophic events.

State Farm Insurance wouldn’t release losses but said it has received 1,123 claims. The Illinois-based insurer’s auto and homeowner companies control about 25 percent of Iowa’s insurance market.

Des Moines-based Allied Insurance and sister company Nationwide said they have received 871 claims but wouldn’t estimate losses.

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