Alabama’s tornado losses could exceed losses from Hurricane Ivan

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The Alabama State Insurance Commissioner, Jim Ridling, said at a news conference yesterday that he expects the State to bear the brunt of the insured losses expected from the recent spate of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across the southern U.S.

EQECAT estimated the insured loss from the recent severe outbreak of convective weather at somewhere in the range of $2 billion to $5 billion and Jim Ridling expects Alabama to account for at least $2 billion of the loss, more than the State suffered in 2004 from Hurricane Ivan. If Alabama do indeed account for $2 billion of insured losses and with five other States affected we expect the final insured loss total to be at the upper end of the estimated range.

Alabama has roughly 70% to 75% insurance penetration on dwellings according to figures the State calculated while counting claims during hurricanes Ivan and Katrina. 38 of the 67 counties in Alabama are currently declared as disaster areas.

“I’ve never seen anything this violent and this widespread” said Jim Ridling during the news conference. He said it was different to the recovery from Hurricane Ivan and more difficult in many ways. “This is the worst disaster dollar wise” he said referring to the history of storms in recent years in Alabama.

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