Insurers Report Major Spring Storm Losses

June 17, 2011

State Farm claim representatives said it has paid nearly $1.75 billion to its customers from the destructive storms of April and May. The total claim payments have nearly doubled in less than three weeks.

Earlier this week, Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, said it lost $2 billion in April and May from severe tornadoes and thunderstorms, nearly equaling its catastrophe losses for all of 2010.

Last week Travelers Companies Inc. said it had at least $1 billion in catastrophe losses in April and May. It said this would result in a second-quarter operating loss and a slowdown in share buybacks.

For the industry as a whole, severe weather events in just one week in late May may result in insured losses of $4 billion to $7 billion, according to risk modeling agency AIR Worldwide.

State Farm said its policyholders have reported more than 400,000 home, business and auto claims caused by the April and May events. More than 4,000 claims professionals are still deployed around the country to more than 130 local claim offices and two large centralized claim operation centers.

Catastrophe claim payments from State Farm, year-to-date, now exceed $3.3 billion. This figure accounts all events occurring in 2011 and any residual payments made on catastrophes from prior years.

If categorized as one event, the devastating hailstorms, windstorms and tornadoes in the months of April and May would be the fifth most costly homeowners’ catastrophe in State Farm’s nine decade history.

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