The Insurance Council of Texas reported that insurance companies have settled 90 percent of property claims in Texas that were the result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Rita that struck in late September 2005.
According to ICT Texas residents filed 180,000 claims for the damage caused by Hurricane Rita. Insurers have paid out more than $1.5 billion for claims and the total is expected to reach $2.4 billion in insured losses in Texas.
Many of the areas hardest hit by Rita were without power for several weeks making it extremely difficult for relief workers and insurance adjusters to reach policyholders in rural areas. Initially, adjusters working with insurance agents faced the same problems as hurricane victims. With no power, they worked without the use of computers, air conditioning and running water.
Hurricane Rita’s 120 mile per hour winds made landfall at Sabine Pass just 14 miles from Port Arthur on September 24. Seventy percent of the claims from Rita came from residents living near or along the coast in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Harris, Galveston and Jasper Counties.
Winds in excess of 100 miles per hour were recorded as far inland as Lake Livingston, 105 miles north of Port Arthur. Hurricane force winds downed huge pine trees making travel nearly impossible in the east Texas communities of Woodville and Jasper. The Texas Forest Service said more than 400 thousand acres of pine and hardwood trees were either damaged or destroyed in the storm.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurers have settled approximately 70 percent of the property claims in Louisiana and Mississippi from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina that struck August 29.
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