Insurance Tab for Hurricane Ike Rising

September 26, 2008

Close to 50,000 claims have been filed already with a windstorm insurance fund backed by the state of Texas for damage from Hurricane Ike, and thousands more are pouring in each day, Texas’ insurance commissioner said Wednesday.

Commissioner Mike Geeslin told legislators the total number of Texas insurance claims from Ike could reach 300,000. That includes claims filed with private-sector companies and with the state-chartered Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

The windstorm insurance fund, the only windstorm insurer for more than a dozen coastal counties, could see its total losses reach $4 billion, while Ike losses in Texas overall could be at least twice that amount, Geeslin said.

Those windstorm fund losses would lead to an estimated drain on the state budget of $400 million per year because insurance companies can seek state tax credits to recoup some of their ballooning payments into the fund.

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