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Strings of destructive storms in the
The most damaging was an early March system that dropped dozens of tornadoes throughout the Midwest and parts of the South, downing power lines and damaging buildings, before heading east and wreaking havoc there, the report said.
Total economic losses for that one storm system, which thundered through
Thunderstorms - including losses from damage caused by hail, wind and tornadoes - have surpassed hurricanes as the costliest peril for the insurance industry in the
"While the individual losses themselves may not be as costly as hurricanes, it's sort of death by a million paper cuts," Bowen said. "You get all of these events that add up."
Every year since 2008, the insurance industry has paid out at least $10 billion for damages from thunderstorms in the
All of that and we're not into the heart of severe weather season yet, Bowen said. "May is usually the peak month when it comes to tornadoes."
The onslaught of severe thunderstorms raining down on the nation doesn't necessarily mean higher premiums for customers, said
Rates are based on actual and anticipated losses an insurer is going to see in each state, Barry said. One bad year likely won't cause a rate increase. But if damaging catastrophes become more of a norm, that could change.
"The insurer needs to price the policy to reflect the risk," he said. "If they see certain parts of the state are repeatedly getting hit by natural disasters, they may revisit what they charge for coverage there."
(c)2017 Chicago Tribune
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