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Insurers Brace for Big Disaster Losses in 2011

The U.S. has been hit by a series of highly destructive natural disasters this year. Tornadoes have killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands...
June 7, 2011

The U.S. has been hit by a series of highly destructive natural disasters this year.  Tornadoes have killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of homes, and widespread flooding along the Mississippi River has inundated millions of acres of farmland. Insurance companies will face claims for property damage from the tornadoes and the flooding along the Mississippi, which caused the loss of inventory, interrupted businesses and disrupted planting.  Private insurance losses from this year's disasters are expected to total at least $10 billion.   Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, said that only a single "relatively minor" hurricane this year could result in total private insurance catastrophe losses in 2011 that would exceed last year's total of $13.6 billion.  Hartwig estimated that insured losses from the tornadoes in Alabama and adjacent states in the last week of April and in Joplin, Missouri, in May will result in insured losses of $4.5 billion to $8 billion.

Read more on the Joplin disaster financial losses: In Wake of Natural Disasters, Insurers Brace for Big Losses (New York Times 6/2/11)

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