Alabama DOI Expects 50,000 Hurricane Claims; Predicts Higher Rates

November 10, 2005

More than 50,000 claims are expected in Alabama from hurricane damage according to Ragan Ingram, assistant insurance commissioner for the Alabama Department of Insurance. He said, however, that complete cost estimates won’t be available until December.

Ingram told the Huntsville Times that his agency has yet to see companies rushing to increase rates, but predicts that hikes are likely.

“It’s fair to say, with the number of storms we’ve had the past two years, that there will be price increases,” said Ingram. “How much, we don’t know yet. We’re still waiting to see how each of the companies will handle it.”

“I think everybody is still trying to put numbers in from Ivan, Katrina and Rita,” said Ingram. “It’s common sense to expect a tighter, more expensive market. It started tightening after 9/11 and the series of storms have put a lot of pressure on the industry.”

Consumers in hurricane-prone areas will see the greater impact of changes in coverage. Ingram says that could include higher rates or increased deductibles. “Hopefully it won’t be in not continuing coverage.”

Ingram said Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell was in Washington on Wednesday participating in roundtable talks about insurance coverage in the states hit hardest by the hurricanes.

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