Reinsurance News

Iowa Derecho claims hit $1.6bn, with a quarter left to pay

10th November 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

According to the Iowa Insurance Division, a major derecho event that impacted the state in August has driven more than 200,000 insurance claims.

Source: CNS/The Catholic Messenger

Out of these, nearly 160,000 have already been paid, worth a total of around $1.6 billion.

The Division believes that re/insurers are currently holding more than $1 billion in reserves to pay for the remaining claims.

“The Iowa Insurance Division has been monitoring the insurance industry’s response to the Derecho and the industry’s role in Iowans’ recovery efforts,” said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen.

“This event is quite historic in scope and it’s important to be as patient as possible given the other national weather events that also happened during our recovery, but I encourage both companies and consumers to continue to communicate in order to get the remaining claims resolved expeditiously,” he added.

Analysts at US domiciled reinsurance broker Holborn Corporation previously estimated that the derecho could cause insured property losses of up to $5 billion.

A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms, and which can potentially be as powerful as hurricane or tornado force winds.

On August 10th, a derecho with maximum measured gusts of 126mph tracked across Iowa after initially developing in northern Nebraska and southeast South Dakota.

Affected areas experienced sustained high winds for 30 to 45 minutes, with damage reported to numerous outbuildings, barns, grain bins, homes, mobile homes, apartment buildings, trees, and power poles across Iowa.

Three fatalies were reported and more than 8,000 homes are thought to have been destroyed or heavily damaged, as well as significant damage to crops and forestry.

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