- Russell Grantham The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Hurricane Irma, which had weakened to a tropical storm by the time it hit Georgia earlier this month, still packed a wallop, causing at least $300 million in insured losses, according to Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.
“Our preliminary estimate today is $336 million in damage across Georgia. That figure may rise as new claims are submitted,” Hudgens said Thursday in a statement.
That total likely doesn’t reflect the total losses from the storm. Flooding, which struck much of coastal Georgia during the storm, usually isn’t covered by standard insurance policies. Many property owners don’t have a separate flood policy through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s national flood insurance program.
In the Atlanta area, much of the damage was caused by downed trees.
So far, families and businesses have filed 56,491 claims with insurance companies, according to the Georgia Insurance Commission. Policy holders have been paid $77,467,340 in settlement payments, the agency said.
Most of the damage claims have come from homeowners, the agency said.
This year’s Atlantic storms have been some of the most powerful and destructive on record, not only because of the number of Category 5 storms, but also because more hit land than usual.
Category 5 hurricanes hit six land masses so far this season, with Irma and Maria doing the most damage. According to the National Hurricane Center, a fourth of all Category 5 landfalls since 1851 occurred this year.
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