Georgia Insurers Report Millions in Labor Day Losses

Georgians have already filed claims for about $15 million in losses as a result of storms that struck over the Labor Day weekend, state regulators announced this week.

Insurance Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens said Thursday that coverage providers had reported fielding 3,646 damage claims. He stressed that the claims numbers were preliminary and that insurers have been instructed to continue supplying his department with updated information.

Tropical Storm Lee swept across the Gulf Coast and East Coast over the holiday weekend, flooding homes and roadways, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of residents and killing at least four people, according to the Associated Press. The storm reportedly spawned twisters that damaged dozens of Georgia homes.

Lee struck many areas still reeling from Tropical Storm Irene, which hit land about a week earlier.

Efforts to quantify the extent of the havoc wreaked by the storms are ongoing. The Insurance Information Institute has projected that claims related to Irene could climb as high as $5 billion.

Hudgens urged residents to inventory their belongings in case of a natural disaster, in order to make it easier to file a claim on a Georgia auto insurance or homeowner policy.

Earlier in the week, the commissioner offered tips to help Georgians bounce back in the wake of the storms:

–Keep auto and homeowner insurance policy numbers and contact information for your agent handy

–Contact your coverage provider immediately if disaster strikes

–Make a list of all valuables and keep it in a safe place outside your home

–Protect property from further damage with short-term fixes, such as a tarp to prevent flooding, until more permanent work can be done

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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