Insurers have paid or reserved $7.7 billion on claims of all types in Louisiana through the end of 2020 from hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced Jan.26. This data represents the first measure of damage from all three hurricanes that struck the state in the record 2020 storm season.
Policyholders filed 290,847 claims of all types from the three storms as of Dec. 31. Of those, 161,704 claims, or 56 percent, were closed with payment as of Dec. 31, garnering $5 billion in payments for damage caused by the three hurricane events.
“After a record storm season that tested the state multiple times, paid claims represent a way forward for those most affected by these hurricanes,” Donelon said. “This is $7.7 billion owed to Louisiana policyholders to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses. Furthermore, it’s billions of dollars that didn’t come from taxpayers in a time when municipal budgets are reeling from the events of the last year.”
The information was generated from a data call to all authorized property and casualty insurers, including surplus lines insurers, to submit their claims data on hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta. The figures include claims from personal and commercial insurance. They do not include claims or payments from the National Flood Insurance Program.
The data call figures represent the most comprehensive look to date of insured losses from the 2020 hurricane season.
Policyholders have filed 169,891 claims from Hurricane Laura, which struck Southwest Louisiana on Aug. 27 as a Category 4 storm. Calcasieu, Rapides, Beauregard, Ouachita and Vernon parishes had the most claims from the storm.
As of Dec. 31, insurers had closed 77 percent of the claims from Hurricane Laura, 59 percent of which were closed with payment. Total paid losses plus reserves on reported claims from all surveyed lines of insurance for Hurricane Laura at the end of 2020 were $6.6 billion, accounting for the vast majority of damage from 2020.
Policyholders have filed 71,945 claims from Hurricane Delta, which made landfall in Southwest Louisiana on Oct. 9 as a Category 2 storm. Calcasieu, Lafayette, Acadia, East Baton Rouge and St. Landry parishes filed the most claims from the storm.
At the end of 2020, insurers had closed 82 percent of all Delta claims, and 53 percent of those claims were closed with payment. Insurers have paid or reserved $556 million to cover losses from reported claims from all surveyed lines of insurance for Hurricane Delta at the end of 2020.
The data call included the first claim figures from Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall in Terrebonne Parish on Oct. 28 as a Category 2 storm. Policyholders filed 49,011 claims by the end of 2020. Most of the claims came from Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Lafourche parishes.
Insurers closed 79 percent of reported Zeta claims, and 46 percent of those claims were closed with payment. Total paid losses plus reserves on reported claims from all surveyed lines of insurance were $499 million for Hurricane Zeta at the end of 2020.
The LDI will continue to collect data from property and casualty insurers to monitor the claims process. The final deadline for data is Oct. 8, 2021.
Donelon earlier (Jan. 22) announced that nearly 80 percent of the 873 complaints that the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) received about hurricane claims are about homeowners insurance.
Hurricane grievances included complaints about various types of residential, auto and commercial property insurance, as well as complaints about insurance adjusters and agents, but the vast majority of complaints from the 2020 storm season concerned homeowners insurance. The most common grievance was claim delay.
As of Jan. 11, policyholders had filed 691 homeowners insurance complaints about claims from hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta., and the department had investigated and closed 597 of the complaints.