Massachusetts Defends Insurers’ $200M Tornado Response

Insurers in the Bay State responded appropriately to claims made after the June 1, 2011 tornados that caused nearly $200 million in insured losses, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.

“For those policyholders whose claims remain open, frustration and disappointment are understandable,” the report states. “Nevertheless, the data underscores that the vast majority of those individuals, families and businesses which filed claims as a result of the events of June 1, 2011, have realized payment for their losses and the sudden, unanticipated and dire disruption to their lives.”

According to the regulator’s examination almost 98.3% of claims associated with the June 1, 2011 tornadoes were settled as of April 2, 2012. That includes total insurance payments of $200 million, in excess of $167 million for personal property claims and $32 million for commercial property claims.

As of the reports completion last month, 10,764 personal property claims were filed with the top 25 home insurance companies within he Massachusetts FAIR Plan, the state’s residual pool. Of all those claims, 1.7% remained unresolved, the report added.

“For the relatively small number of claims that remained open as of that date, it appears that delays in obtaining documentation and lingering disputes among the Companies and policyholders regarding the value of the claim underlay the delay in resolving those claims,” the report says.

Massachusetts insurers came under fire from consumer groups and the state attorney general’s office following the storms for dragging their feet on paying claims.


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