Most of the money paid out last year for catastrophe losses by Alabama home, business and car insurance companies was for losses from violent storms that swept through the state in April, according to an Insurance Information Institute (III) analysis of data from ISO's Property Claims Service and other sources.
Insurers paid out almost $2.9 billion for losses stemming from tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms that hit the state from April 22-28. Those losses accounted for more than 90 percent of the $3.2 billion Alabama insurance companies paid out for all of 2011.
"These natural disasters were not only the deadliest in Alabama's history, they were also the costliest in terms of the property damage and business interruption claims these severe weather events generated," Robert Hartwig, III president, said in a press statement.
About 133,000 insurance claims were filed due to damages incurred in Alabama between April 22-28, 2011, according to III. Fifty-seven percent of that money was disbursed to the state's homeowners, renters and condominium policyholders. Businesses received 38 percent of the claim payouts, and auto insurance policyholders got the remaining 5 percent of the total. The most devastating tornadoes occurred in or near the Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa metropolitan areas.
More than 700 tornadoes were reported in April. Besides Alabama, the twisters struck 12 other states -- Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Oklahoma, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They led to a cumulative total of $7.3 billion in insurance payouts, the institute reported.