Insurers Have Paid $1.2M for Boston Bombing P/C Claims So Far; Health Claims to Top $22M

August 30, 2013

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance says that so far, 207 Boston Marathon bombing-related property/casualty claims have been reported by the top 25 insurers and the residual market insurer Massachusetts FAIR Plan.

These include claims from Boston, Watertown, Cambridge and any other municipality affected by the April events. This summary is as of July 26, the latest day for which aggregate data is available from the Division of Insurance data call.

Among them, 84 claims (or 41 percent of overall claims) have been closed with payments so far — with a total of 
$1.176 million in payments. An additional 76 claims (or 37 percent) have been closed without payments, bringing the overall number of closed claims — with or without payments — to 160 (or 77 percent of overall claims).

Data shows that business interruption claims represent the bulk of the Boston Marathon bombing-related P/C claims. There were 132 business interruption claims, 110 of which have been closed (50 with payments, 60 without payments) as of July 26.

Separately, there was one workers’ compensation claim, which has been closed with a payment of $257.

The Division of Insurance also said it received five consumer complaints, four of which have been resolved.

“Three of the calls were from businesses in the City of Boston, and we were able to assist all three in obtaining their full payment for business interruption claims,” the Division of Insurance spokesperson Jayda Leder-Luis told Insurance Journal.

“We were contacted by an attorney representing a fourth Boston business; that business owner has received payment for his business interruption claim but is making a claim that his inventory (food) was perishable and had to be discarded during the period when the area in which he operates was closed by law enforcement,” Leder-Luis said. “We have provided the attorney with some information, but usually once lawyers are involved, our role is minimized or eliminated.”

“The fifth claim was auto-related in the community where the shooting occurred adjacent to capturing the suspected bombers, and has been paid,” she said.

Health Claims Costs to Exceed $22M

One unique aspect of these Marathon bombing-related claims is that health claims and health care costs are so heavily outweighing property/casualty claims, the Division of Insurance noted.

There are 170 members — in both insured and self-insured accounts — who were directly impacted between April 15 and April 19 by events related to the Boston Marathon bombing and related events.

The projected health claims costs for services to be provided through April 19, 2014 to these members in both insured and self-insured accounts are $22.85 million, according to regulators.

“The events surrounding the Marathon bombing are unique in our experience in Massachusetts because health claims so heavily outweigh property and casualty claims, as contrasted with catastrophic events like the 2011 tornadoes or various severe winter storms, which largely resulted in property damage claims,” Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy said.

Commissioner Murphy added, “We are gratified by the cooperation from the insurance community in response to the claims generated by the bombing and subsequent law enforcement actions.”

The commissioner said the insurance community has also demonstrated commitment to following the guidance issued in the April bulletin.

In the bulletin, Commissioner Murphy asked insurers to promptly investigate all claims for all lines of coverage and extend claims-reporting timelines for policyholders who needed more time in the wake of the tragedy.

Commissioner Murphy also encouraged insurers to provide immediate relief to policyholders impacted by these events, “including the temporary suspension of premium payments and suspension of vacancy provisions for those temporarily displaced, as applicable.”

The commissioner also noted in the bulletin it would be inappropriate for insurers to re-rate, cancel, non-renew, or refuse to provide insurance coverage due solely to an individual’s or business’ status as a victim of these events.

DOI Continues to Collect Updated Data From Insurers

The Division of Insurance said its staff are continuing to collect updated data from insurers, and will do so at least until the six-month mark.

The Division’s Consumer Services Unit is also working with City of Boston officials to provide individualized assistance to any person or business experiencing difficulty in resolving its claims. The Division of Insurance said it will likely issue a report on the Marathon-related events sometime next year.

Data Call Summary (Property/Casualty Claims as of: 7/26/13)

The chart below is the aggregate summary for Boston Marathon Bombing-related property/casualty claims from top 25 insurers and the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (Massachusetts FAIR Plan)

Boston Bombing Data Call Summary (P/C Claims as of 7/26/13) Claims Reported Claims Closed Paid Loss % Closed
Residential Property 35 28 (20 w/ payment, 8 w/o payment) $86,806 80.0%
Commercial Property 27 12 (5 w/ payment, 7 w/o payment) $253,934 44.4%
Personal Auto 7 6 closed w/ payment $72,760 85.7%
Commercial Auto 0 0 $0 N/A
Business Interruption 132 110 (50 w/ payment, 60 w/o payment) $753,950 83.3%
All Other Lines 6 4 (3 w/ payment, 1 w/o payment) $8,090 66.7%
Totals 207 160 (84 w/ payment, 76 w/o payment) $1,175,540 77.3%

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