Reported insured losses from Hurricanes Laura and Delta collectively have topped more than $5 billion as of Nov. 20, the state insurance department said.
More than 236,938 claims had been reported as of Nov. 20 for the two hurricanes that hit the state earlier this year, according to data available from the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Laura ravaged southwest Louisiana in August as a fierce Category 4 hurricane, and Delta followed with a second blow to the same region in October as a Category 2 storm.
Claims data from the two storms was presented at a joint meeting of the Louisiana House and Senate insurance committees on Dec. 16. The information is derived from insurance department calls to insurers for claims data related to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.
Louisiana was hit by two tropical storms and three hurricanes this year that collectively caused an estimated $14 billion in damage across the state. Despite a record number of storms, the property insurance market is significantly healthier and more stable than it was after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, according to the LDI. While rates are expected to rise, the LDI does not expect a significant contraction in the availability of coverage.
In the Dec. 16 joint insurance committee meeting, lawmakers criticized the insurance industry’s handling of claims from Hurricanes Laura and Delta, describing slow responses, low-balled damage estimates and drones used to assess destruction instead of people. The high turnover and inexperience of insurance adjusters were among the problems cited during the hearing.
Insurance company representatives pushed back against the criticism, citing difficulties that arise following catastrophic events when insurers are inundated with an overwhelming number of claims within a short period of time.
The LDI reported that as of mid-December, more than 700 insurance complaints had been received related to the record 2020 hurricane season. More than 450 have been resolved, according to the department.
The tables below show a snapshot of claims reported for the two storms by lines of business.
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