The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 14, 2014

$2 billion and counting

NORMAN — Insurance companies have paid out nearly $2 billion in claims from the May tornadoes that took 24 lives in Cleveland, Oklahoma and Canadian counties. Those claims were the highest paid out for a state. The total will no doubt go much higher when all claims are complete.

It seems like a lot of money, but it’s small compared to the more than $15 billion paid out in 2012 for Superstorm Sandy. New York and New Jersey residents and businesses took a direct hit from the storm.

Information provided at the National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City this week showed that Texas leads the nation in tornado and hail claims paid by insurance companies.

From 2000 to 2013, Texans received $16.9 billion, while Oklahomans were cut checks for $9.8 billion. Nationwide, during that time span, $135 billion in claims was paid out.

Because of our location in thunderstorm and tornado alley, Oklahomans pay some of the highest premiums in the nation. Average homeowners insurance was $2,386 in 2011.

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