A Catastrophic Year For Insurance Companies

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Insurance companies in Minnesota are calling this year catastrophic.

“We’re going to have the largest catastrophe year on record for Minnesota homeowners,” said Mark Kulda, spokesman for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

The Insurance Federation represents most of the writers of homeowners and property insurance in the state.

The federation claims Minnesota already surpassed the worst catastrophic record over the summer with 145 tornadoes touching down and wiping out homes.

Now, all the snow is triggering ice dams that are seeping into walls and ceilings in houses across the Twin Cities.

Kulda said in 2001 insurers paid out a record $50 million ice dam claims. He expects this year that record will break with even more claims paid.

“What that really means for folks is that it’s going to be really busy for insurance companies,” said Kulda. “The cost of removing an ice dam from your home is not covered under your insurance policy. But if the ice dam does damage to your house that is covered.”

Kulda hopes homeowners will be proactive and remove the ice dams before they can do any damage. The cost to remove an ice dam can be anywhere from $275 to $475 per hour.

“Homeowners insurance policy is not a maintenance policy. It’s to repair things that are broken. Not to do routine maintenance,” said Kulda.

But, for many homeowners in the Metro the damage is already done. Kulda says one of the largest insurance companies in the state has received 350 claims since Wednesday and he expects more will be coming.

“It takes a while to process all the numbers. It could conceivably be months before we find out what all the totals are,” said Kulda. “We’re definitely going have more than $50 million in ice dam claims this year.”

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