Total Auto Losses from Oklahoma Tornadoes Double Since Last Week

Vehicle claims from deadly tornadoes that struck Oklahoma last month shot upward in number and cost since regulators reported loss figures last week.

According to the latest figures reported by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), so far there have been 28,056 personal auto insurance claims filed and nearly $60 million paid out on those claims, which were filed in the wake of the tornadoes that struck the state between May 19 and May 20 and another spate that struck the state between May 30 and May 31.

The OID broke down auto claim losses between the two catastrophes:
–There have been 19,841 claims and $51.7 million in payments made from the May 19 and May 20 tornadoes. That puts the average claim size at $2,605.
–There have been 8,215 claims and $8.2 million in payments made from the May 30 and May 31 tornadoes. The average claim size is $1,001.

The nearly $60 million in personal vehicle losses from those disasters reported so far is almost double the figures that OID reported last week.

‘Just the Beginning’

OID reported that its consumer assistance division has seen calls for assistance jump 59 percent since tornadoes devastated Moore, Okla.

The OID is issuing “request for assistance” forms that are available here.

The average claim size related to tornadoes between May 19 and May 20 is much higher than the average for those between May 30 and May 31 because claimants are getting payments every day while additional claims continue to roll in, Kelly Collins, communications director for the OID, told Online Auto Insurance News. The payment totals have not had time to catch up with the claims numbers.

John Doak, OID’s commissioner, said that the “staggering” numbers are “just the beginning.”

“Many of the victims haven’t received their entire settlement checks yet, so that payment number will continue to go up for a while,” he said in a statement. “This is something the state of Oklahoma is going to be dealing with for a long time. Those affected by the storms need to know that we’re here to help, for as long as it takes.”

(Photo courtesy of State Farm)

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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