The severe weather that hit Oklahoma in late May could lead to Oklahoma insurance companies having to pay an estimated $400 million to cover insured property damage, according to an industry group.
At the same time, a major insurer has claimed that the high winds and hail were not considered to be catastrophic.
According to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance vice president of public affairs, John Wiscaver, “From the standpoint of comparing this to the hail event we had a couple of years ago in the spring that was just a massive hailstorm, it is not even close to the magnitude of that event.”
He went on to say that it was only the coverage by the media that left the impression that the storms lead to massive damage to property. Wiscaver explained that while there had been some damaging hail in certain isolated parts of the state, it was no means as extensive as was suggested by the media coverage.
The preliminary estimate from the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, was $400 million.
That organization, based in Texas, felt that this would be the total cost of all of the insured losses, following a survey that it conducted and which included the participation of its members, such as the largest Oklahoma insurance providers.
The president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, Sandra Helin, did confirm, though, that these numbers were only preliminary and that they are bound to change. She illustrated by saying that for one of its member companies, the number had already doubled from earlier predictions.
Helin stated that the storm’s damage claims are quite widespread. She also pointed out that the estimate produced by her organization did not include any of the commercial losses or the lost income from businesses as a result of the damage from the severe weather.
Oklahoma insurance company, Group 1 Automotive Inc., a publically traded business which operates eight car dealerships within the area of the state’s capital, had reported that it anticipates a cost of around $1.8 million to $2.3 million after taxes and deductibles as a result of the vehicle damage experienced at seven of its locations.