Kansas has seen a record-breaking year for storm and crop damage, and even people far from the mayhem may feel the pain in their wallets.
Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said in a Wednesday release that insured property and crop damage estimates in the state totaled $1.095 billion through the end of August. That figure was based on 197,000 claims.
Praeger said the previous record of $700 million was set in 1992.
“We still have the rest of 2011 to go,” she said.
More than half of the damage, or $502.5 million, came in April alone as Kansas residents filed 66,000 claims for storm damage, mostly from hail and wind in the east and southeast portions of the state. In May, a tornado devastated portions of Reading in southeast Kansas.
June followed, generating $202 million in damage estimates from wind and hail.
Crop damage has totaled $18 million, the department said.
The insured property and crop damage totals don’t include floods.
Praeger said the higher costs of building materials and labor, as well as expenses incurred by claims adjusters, are contributing to the rising price tags of damaging storms.
“All of those factor into the losses,” she said. “We may see increases in premiums by insurance companies as a result of the high number of claims and payouts.”
Missouri policyholders may feel a similar sting — payouts for the Joplin tornado, also in May, are expected to reach $2 billion.