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Kansas storm, crop damage estimates climb over the $1 billion mark
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TOPEKA  — Storm and crop damage estimates in Kansas for 2011 have hit a record $1 billion, according to the Kansas Department of Insurance.
Estimates through August 2011 show $1.095 billion in estimated insured property damage and crop losses for the calendar year so far, according to Sandy Praeger, commissioner of insurance. The estimates are based on approximately 197,000 claims.
“This is a record amount of storm-caused property damage for the state,” Commissioner Praeger said. “Our records go back to 1990, and this year’s surpasses the previous record in 1992 by $300 million. And, we still have the rest of 2011 to go.”
A link to a complete set of storm loss statistics since 1999 is online at (the KID website home page, right hand side of the page).
Property damage in April 2011 accounted for more than half of the year’s estimate so far, at $502.5 million. During that month, Kansans filed 66,000 claims for storm damage, mostly from extensive hail and wind storms in east and southcentral portions of the state, according to department reports.
June property damage totaled $202 million with 43,000 claims. Wind and hail were again the major weather events causing the damage estimates.
The year’s crop damage estimates total $18 million, according to the department’s current report.
“Rising costs of material, labor and claim adjustment expenses can’t be forgotten as you look at the property damage estimates,” Commissioner Praeger said. “All of those factor into the losses. We may see increases in premiums by insurance companies as a result of the high number of claims and payouts.”
 Premium adjustments by insurance companies can also be influenced by the number of Kansas policyholders for each company and the geographic area of the state where the losses occurred.
Estimated storm loss data consist of windstorm, tornado, and hail damage, or other weather-related claim losses, for insured real and personal property in Kansas. The totals are reported for each calendar year and monthly during the calendar year. Estimated flood losses and other insured perils are not included in the data.
The data include only estimated storm losses requested by Commissioner Praeger from the private insurance companies selling and servicing property insurance coverage in Kansas.
“It’s been a tough storm year for Kansans and for the companies that insure them,” Commissioner Praeger said. “If you have questions about your policies, contact our Consumer Assistance Hotline at (800) 432-2484.”
The previous KID estimated storm loss record occurred in 1992, with $700 million in paid storm losses based on 365,500 claims.