Bloomberg News

State Farm, Nationwide Report Claims From Weekend Storms

July 03, 2012

State Farm, Nationwide Report Claims From Weekend Storms

A two-alarm fire started by a lightning strike from a thunderstorm late Friday night engulfs a home north of Frederick, Md., early Saturday, June 30, 2012. Photographer: Sam Yu/The Frederick News-Post/AP Photo

Insurers led by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. reported a combined total of more than 48,000 claims from weekend storms that brought down trees and left millions without power across 10 U.S. states.

State Farm, the biggest U.S. home and car insurer, had more than 29,300 auto and property claims in the Midwest and Mid- Atlantic states, Amy Preddy, a spokeswoman for the Bloomington, Illinois-based company, said today in a telephone interview. Policyholder-owned State Farm expects more claims, she said.

“It’s mostly wind damage, so we’re seeing a lot of trees that are down, trees that fell on a structure or fell on a car, some shingles off of roofs, then things related to the power being out,” Anna Bryant, another State Farm spokeswoman, said yesterday in an interview.

The storm system brought winds of as much as 91 miles an hour (146 kilometers), rain and lightning, disrupting electricity for as many as 4.3 million customers from North Carolina to New Jersey. More than 1.44 million customers remained without power earlier today. Utilities said effects were equivalent to a hurricane.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. reported more than 9,000 claims in a statement issued today. United Services Automobile Association received 8,900, Rebecca Hirsch, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Farmers Insurance, which has a management relationship with Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group AG, had more than 800 property claims as of yesterday, Jerry Davies, a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based insurer, said in an e-mail.

Carriers haven’t yet estimated insured losses. Allstate Corp., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG:US), Chubb Corp. and Erie Indemnity Co. declined to provide claims numbers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Norton in New York at snorton7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net


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