Alabama Officials Call for Data on the Impact of Recent Storms

Alabama property and casualty insurers have until Wednesday to provide regulators with data on claims filed by policyholders in the aftermath of windstorms that swept across the state in April.

The state’s Commissioner of Insurance, Jim Ridling, issued a bulletin on Oct. 27 to all companies that are licensed in Alabama to sell coverage for personal and commercial lines, including private vehicle policies.

Storms, tornadoes and high winds in April and May killed more than 100 people and destroyed homes, cars, businesses and government buildings, according to local news reports. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a disaster declaration for much of the state, freeing up emergency funding.

Insurers must provide data on claims filed by Alabama auto insurance and other policyholders, including the number of claims submitted, the number of cases in which the company is awaiting information from the customer, total dollar amount paid out and the number of claims that have not been settled, along with contact information for company representatives who can discuss individual claim inquiries with regulators.

Ragan Ingram, a spokesman for the state Department of Insurance, said the data will be made public after it is collected and aggregated.

“The purpose of the data call is to get an accurate picture of where we are six months after the April storms,” Ingram said in an email Tuesday. “It will be useful for historical purposes and could be helpful in determining if there are any problems in the marketplace for Alabama consumers.”

The department defines an open claim as one in which the company “reasonably expects to make a future payment” but has not come to an agreement with the policyholder.

That does not include cases in which the insurer has settled with the customer for the total loss of an automobile and is waiting for the vehicle to be sold for salvage.

Reports are due to Ridling’s office by 5 p.m. Wednesday and may be sent by email or delivered by hand or by a courier.

Department officials said the reports will be summarized before being released, and no individual companies will be publicly identified.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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