Hurricane Ike Produces 76,000 Damage Claims So Far

October 10, 2008

More than 76,000 damage claims from Hurricane Ike have been filed with the Texas-backed windstorm insurance association, which expects to pay billions of dollars to policy holders for losses.

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association general manager Jim Oliver cautioned that the final figure will depend on whether claims are determined to be wind or flood damage.

The association says it will pay for wind damage, but not storm surge damage, which it considers to be flooding. “We are going to look at every single claim individually,” Oliver said. “That is going to make the process slow.”

The number of claims filed with the association has been slowing to 700 to 1,000 each weekday. That’s down from about 6,000 daily in the two weeks after the Sept. 13 storm that struck Galveston and southeast Texas.

After private-sector companies largely stopped providing hurricane insurance in many coastal counties, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the state-chartered association became the wind damage insurer for 14 Texas counties. It’s funded in part by insurance companies that do business in Texas.

Those companies were assessed a combined additional $430 million last month to help pay for Ike’s destruction.

The fund is still paying claims from Hurricane Dolly, which hit South Texas earlier in the summer. But that was a less costly storm, with 8,102 claims filed with the windstorm fund to date totaling about $280 million in losses.

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

Texas Department of Insurance.

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