Oklahoma Hail Damage Claims From Recent Storm Could Top $20M

June 5, 2008

Hail damage claims from this past weekend’s storm could easily top $20 million, an insurance industry source says, matching the cost of a similar area storm in April.

Meanwhile, nearly 1,260 electric company customers in Wakita and the Tulsa area were reporting power outages June 4 caused by the storms that moved through the areas on June 1 and 3.

“It’s still early, and we don’t have any damage estimate, but I can tell you as a baseline that a 60-second hailstorm in a heavily populated area such as Tulsa can cost as much as $20 million,” said Jerry Johns, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, a trade group that serves 85 percent of home insurers in Oklahoma and Texas.

That figure could rise, Johns said, as reports come in.

Insurance claims related to an earlier hailstorm, which swept through the Tulsa area April 8, are expected to range from $15 million to $20 million, Johns said.

Claims from hailstorms often are slow to appear because roof damage is not easily detected until it rains, he said.

By June 3, State Farm had received about 2,500 claims for damage caused to homes last weekend, amounting to an estimated $10 million, said John Wiscaver, a State Farm of Oklahoma spokesman.

The insurance company also received about 2,500 auto claims, amounting to about $6.25 million for the Tulsa area and surrounding communities.

The area has seen an unprecedented amount of activity in the past six months, including an ice storm in December followed by ongoing storm activity in recent months, Wiscaver said.

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