Canadian Underwriter

Isidore wreaks US$100 million damage on Louisiana (October 01, 2002)

October 1, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Insurers in Louisiana will be paying out US$100 million in the wake of Tropical Storm Isidore, according to the state’s insurance regulator.
Acting insurance commissioner Robert Wooley says the storm, which hit largely in the south part of the state, caused US$50 million in auto insurance losses alone.
Homeowners losses total US$25 million, according to preliminary estimates, with commercial losses making up the remaining US$25 million. However, these figures include flood claims through the government-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The damage is perhaps less than what might have been expected, given that Isidore was downgraded to the status of a tropical storm. “Isidore was once a Category 3 hurricane that, thankfully, never really reorganized once it swept into the Gulf of Mexico,” says Wooley. He adds that he is “hopeful that those people who have experienced flood and other types of property damage can quickly get their belongings repaired or replaced so they can get back to their normal way of life”.
It remains to be seen if Isidore will be the largest storm of the season. However, its damage pales in comparison to the US$500 million insurers paid out in Louisiana after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. A similar loss total came in 2000 after a late-January hailstorm in the New Orleans area.
“I would hope that the state does not have to experience another weather-related disaster for quite some time,” says Wooley.

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