SuperTalk Mississippi

Insurance claims continue to pour in after Tornado damage

Photo courtesy of TeleSouth Communication Inc.

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI- After an EF-3 tornado ripped through south Mississippi, creating a 31-mile path of devastation primarily through Hattiesburg and Petal, insurers are receiving claims left and right. 

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said that they have received about 3,111 claims reported and have closed 1,230 of them. 405 did not require a payment.

For those that have been resolved, the paid loss is $63,422,000 and the losses incurred are $93,170,000. That means about 52 percent of the claims that have been filed have actually been incurred and paid off.

“The balance of the claims will be closed out after we [the companies] finish their estimates,” said Chaney. “A lot of these are total loses where homes were totally lost.”

The two main issues that have not been closed out are commercial property and business interruption. Chaney said that about half of the residential  properties claims closed out.

“You normally see claims up to six months after a tornado because sometimes you may not catch a leaking roof until two or three months after a tornado, so it takes a while to catch all of the smaller claims,” said Chaney.

He said they expect most of the larger claims and major damage will be closed out within the first 90 to 180 days.

For damage on any uninsured buildings at William Carey University Chaney said they do not have that information yet, along with state or federal buildings. He said those buildings do not normally fall under business or residential.

The storm was declared a federal disaster on Jan. 25 by President Donald Trump. This allowed for federal assistance to make it to individuals in Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale, and Perry counties.

So far the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been approved for more than $5.7 million in federal grants and loans. The Small Business Association has approved #3.1 million in low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and business owners for repairs.

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