Washington Windstorm Relatively Minor, Insurer Says

A windstorm that hit Washington in Nov. 15 may have been nasty for those impacted, but early data from the PEMCO Storm Index shows that it was relatively minor when compared with Washington’s severe weather events of the past quarter-century.

As of 2 p.m. on Nov. 17, PEMCO Insurance received 171 storm-related claims for an estimated $979,000 claims dollars projected to be paid, according to the Washington-based insurer.That projects to be the 14th-largest windstorm in the company’s experience since 1984, far below the largest event — the 2006 Hanukkah Eve windstorm, which caused nearly $27 million of damage in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Although the storm generated claims from across Washington, the southwest region of the state was hit hardest. Many claims involved toppled trees and roof damage, the insurer said.

PEMCO has tracked data since 1984 for claims related to snow, cold, and windstorms, plus events like earthquakes, wildfires, and heavy rain. PEMCO ranks these events based on the number of claims and gross paid loss amount, which is recalculated into inflation-adjusted dollars. Data for storms before 1984 is less comprehensive.