La.: $2.4B in Hurricane Rita Claims Paid Out so Far

September 25, 2006

The Louisiana Department of Insurance on Friday said just over $2.4 billion had been paid out by insurers as of August 31 for damage caused by Hurricane Rita a year ago.

The amount was paid out on 200,582 claims in Louisiana, according to the insurance department. The estimate does not include losses paid by the National Flood Insurance Program.

More than half the total claims paid were in Calcasieu Parish in the southwestern part of the state, which had almost 70,000 claims costing $1.4 billion. Nearly all the payments were to homeowners.

The largest homeowners insurers in Louisiana are State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Allstate Corp. and the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state-run insurer.

Last month, The Louisiana Supreme Court approved Louisiana’s order that insurers allow an extra year for residents to file lawsuits over claim disputes resulting from the 2005 hurricane season. The original one-year deadline was extended to two years, giving residents until 2007 to file lawsuits.

Hurricane Rita, which hit the state on Sept. 24, 2005, caused more than $5 billion in damages overall and was the third-largest storm of 2005, after hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. According to figures released by the Insurance Information Institute, Rita was the 7th most expensive hurricane in U.S history.

Nearly 60 percent of the insured losses from Rita were in Louisiana, with most of the rest coming from Texas, as of February, according to the institute.

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