Insurers in Mississippi are expected to pay out $12 billion in insured losses stemming from Hurricane Katrina. According to Property Claims Services, the New Jersey-based subsidiary of the Insurance Service Office, which compiles data based on actual claims processed by adjusters in the affected areas, Mississippi loses are second only to those incurred in Louisiana.
“ISO estimates are based on actual claims that have been processed by adjusters thus far,” explained Patrick Slevin, president of the Slevin Group, a Jackson, Miss. public relations and media consulting firm. “An initial assessment by ISO in early October pegged losses at $9.8 billion, but following a 60-day review just completed, the estimates were raised to the $12 billion mark.
“Although the 2005 hurricane season is officially over, it’s important to note that we are still in the early part of a cycle of overall increased tropical activity,” Slevin said. “Insurers may be saddled with billions more in insured losses as the cycle is predicted to extend through several more storm seasons.”
Katrina hit the Gulf Coast as a strong category 4 storm with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extended 125 miles from Katrina’s center, making it an unusually large storm for its strength.