Tropical Storm Irma’s losses top $550 million in Georgia

When Tropical Storm Irma hammered Georgia last month, it did more than $550 million in damage, state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said Thursday.

That’s almost double his office’s earlier preliminary estimate of the walloping Georgia took from the storm, which was a massive hurricane when it first hit Florida.

Hudgens said as of Thursday that 103,163 insurance claims, valued at more than $550 million, had been filed. None of that includes damaged property that wasn’t covered or for which claims haven’t been filed.

“As part of our disaster recovery plan, my staff and I will continue to have conversations with claims managers of various insurance carriers to ensure a smooth claims process for the consumers of Georgia,” Hudgens said. 

The estimate is based on claims data reported to Hudgens’ department by insurance companies from damage to insured homes, vehicles, and businesses. Hudgens said  that flood damage to vehicles are included, but damage to businesses and private dwellings from flooding, are not. The majority of flood insurance is offered through a federal program, not through insurance companies

 In the Atlanta area, much of the damage was caused by downed trees.

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.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a fourth of all Category 5 landfalls since 1851 occurred this year.

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