New government figures show that Louisiana homeowners and businesses filed $10.6 billion in damage claims from hurricanes and tropical storms in 2020.
Of the total, about $56 million in claims were filed by property owners in the parishes of Terrebonne and Lafourche.
“The residents of our state suffered a devastating blow from the 2020 hurricanes, as these numbers attest,” Insurance Commissioner Jim Donilon said in a press release. “With labor and material prices soaring due to labor shortages and supply chain disruptions during and after the pandemic, I encourage all policyholders to continue to file supplemental claims if they find that the cost of rebuilding is more expensive than was paid.”
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The amount of money insurance companies expect to pay in claims related to hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta continues to grow, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donilon said.
Louisiana policyholders filed 323,727 claims from the three storms. Of those claims, 218,615 claims, or 68%, have closed, with payments made as of September 30.
So far, homeowners and businesses have received a total of $8.6 billion in payments for damages caused by the three hurricanes. Insurers set aside an additional $2 billion to pay more claims.
The amount does not include claims or payments from the National Flood Insurance Program. It also does not include uninsured losses and what people pay out of their pocket to cover homeowners’ deductibles or business insurance policies.
As a result, Donilon said, the true cost of the three hurricanes is much higher.
The 2020 storm season was the most active on record in Louisiana, with the state hitting the three hurricanes as well as Tropical Storms Cristobal and Marco. This season was the second most expensive season in Louisiana after 2005. Donilon said Hurricane Laura removed Hurricane Rita in 2005 as the second most expensive storm in Louisiana history.
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Here’s a quick summary of claims related to last year’s three hurricanes in Louisiana, Tribune, and LaForch, according to the State Insurance Department
Hurricane Laura: $9.1 billion
The policyholders filed 177,691 claims of Laura, which struck near Cameron in southwest Louisiana on August 27, 2020, as a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 150 mph.
As of September 30, insurers have closed 90% of claims. Total losses paid plus reserves on claims reported by Laura total $9.1 billion across Louisiana, accounting for the vast majority of damage from storm season in 2020.
Laura’s total insurance claims to date have totaled $888,851 in Terpon and $5.5 million in La Forge.
Hurricane Delta: $875.5 million
The policyholders filed 89,451 claims from Delta, which made landfall on October 9, 2020, as a Category 2 hurricane near Creole in southwest Louisiana. Insurers closed 93% of all Delta claims, with $875.5 million paid or withheld to cover losses across the state.
Delta’s claims to date have totaled $997,519 at Terpon and $426,637 at La Forge.
Hurricane Zita: $629.3 million
The policyholders filed 56,585 claims from Zeta, which made landfall on October 28, 2020, near Cocodrie and swept through the New Orleans area as a Category 3 hurricane.
Insurers closed 94% of claims, 60% with payment. Total losses paid plus reserves on reported claims are $629.3 million statewide.
in TerrebonneAnd Homeowners and businesses filed 1,207 claims for combined losses of $8.7 million.Landlords in La Forges filed 2,521 claims for $39.6 million in total losses.
By law, policyholders have two years from the storm’s history to resolve claims before they must file a lawsuit to preserve their rights to continue negotiating.
Anyone having trouble with an insurance claim can file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance at ldi.la.gov/fileacomplaint or 1-800-259-5300.
Later this year, the State Insurance Department plans to begin compiling data on claims from Hurricane Ida, which devastated Tribune and LaForge and southeast Louisiana on August 29.
“The number of claims and the amount of insured losses from Hurricane Ida, which was like Laura a powerful Category 4 storm, is expected to outpace Laura’s claims, as Ida hit a more populous area,” the agency said.
Courier and Daily Comet Executive Editor Keith Magill can be contacted at 857-2201 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CourierEditor.
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