Monday, November 9, 2020

Des Moines - Since August 10, 2020, Iowans, insurance companies, agents and contractors have worked together to help Iowa recover from this devastating weather event.

As of November 2, 2020, more than 200,000 claims have been reported.  Of those claims, nearly 160,000 claims totaling more than $1.6 billion have been paid already.  Insurance companies are holding more than a billion in reserves to be used for the remaining claims.

“The Iowa Insurance Division has been monitoring the insurance industry’s response to the Derecho and the industry’s role in Iowans’ recovery efforts,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said.

“As policyholders pursue claims under their insurance contracts, we encourage property owners to continue to work diligently with their insurance company and agent as they obtain the necessary repairs.  Adjustments can take time, but we have seen other challenges, including early cold, snow and some shortages of materials and contractors.  Delays in replacement of grain bins have garnered attention. Further weather concerns with winter inching closer places concern on whether to wait until spring to make repairs to the roof, siding, etc. 

“If a consumer believes the insurance company is providing less than what is promised in their insurance contract, they can file a complaint with us at the Iowa Insurance Division.  We will review the contract and claim details.”

The claims process includes work by each party, the policyholder and the company, reviewing the insurance contract and working together to come to a resolution ensuring that the terms of the contract are adhered to.  These discussions are opportunities for the policyholders to share information, pictures, estimates, statements for the company to consider as they make a determination on what will be covered as per the contract.  Contractors are prohibited by law from negotiating the insurance claim on behalf of the policyholder.  It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your carrier to continue to work through the differences or the disparate views on the restoration of your property.

“Given the extremely large number of claims, our office has received just over 90 complaints overall related to the derecho,” Ommen said.  “Complaints filed with our office can range quite broadly but some of the primary areas we are seeing are what is covered under the insurance contract, what the payment amount should be, and what the process is for handling additional or supplemental damage.”

Unique complaint areas generated from this derecho are delays in the inspection process, delays in actually getting the repairs made, delays in communication.  

“This event is quite historic in scope and it’s important to be as patient as possible given the other national weather events that also happened during our recovery, but I encourage both companies and consumers to continue to communicate in order to get the remaining claims resolved expeditiously,” Ommen said. “The Iowa Insurance Division is here for consumers if they need to file a complaint.”

Iowans needing to file a complaint with the Iowa Insurance Division can do so at https://iid.iowa.gov/insurance-consumer-complaint.

See claims data as of November 2, 2020 below by category: 

Company

Number of Claims Reported

Amount of Claims Paid ($)

Number of Claims Paid

Homeowners multiple peril

103,884

876,803,215.57

81,472

Farmowners multiple peril

40,196

190,997,753.74

19,965

Private Passenger Auto

18,902

71,261,949.20

12,464

Commercial multiple peril

13,213

335,410,281.94

22,122

Auto Physical Damage

9,253

37,367,541.72

9,734

Multiple Crop

6,921

35,214,409.00

505

Private Crop

4,087

25,792,023.00

1,691

Dwelling Fires, RV, Motorcycle, Boat

1,290

6,969,514.41

748

Commercial Auto

1,239

7,866,071.46

8,215

Crop Hail

742

10,490,943.00

433

Inland marine

536

9,516,738.61

300

Other

176

2,739,132.61

134

Business Interruption

78

664,920.83

56

Commercial Property

53

1,212,535.00

10

Ocean Marine

16

27,211.24

7

Liability

9

125,251.53

3

Workers Comp

1

0

0

Cargo

1

0

0

       

Total

200,597

1,612,459,493

157,859

 

###