The ice claims cometh! Kentucky reports more damage from ice than Ike

Just months after Hurricane Ike whipped by Kentucky, the emergency management agency there is reporting the ice storm gripping the area is even more destructive.

Kentucky insurance carriers have taken thousands of claims as a result of this week’s ice storm, and agents said yesterday they expect to hear from more policyholders as power is restored.

State Farm, which insures 22 percent of Kentucky homeowners, expects to handle about 6,000 claims statewide.

Although damage was widespread in Louisville, State Farm spokeswoman Lisa Ripley said the worst was in the Paducah area, which didn’t have full cell phone and landline service as of yesterday.

Some of the larger insurers are setting up mobile response vehicles, and the state Department of Insurance is allowing licensed adjusters in other states to come to Kentucky to speed up the claims process.

“Once power has been restored and people are able to get out and assess the damage, we believe the number of claims will begin to rise,” said spokeswoman Ronda Sloan.

Kentucky Farm Bureau, the state’s second-largest insurer for homeowners after State Farm, already has taken about 2,000 claims, spokesman Greg Kosse said.

He said claims could total 8,000 or 9,000. Louisville-area policyholders likely will file for less than a quarter of those.

Damage west of the Pennyrile Parkway is so massive that Buddy Rogers of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management predicted the ice storm’s impact on the state will be greater than the destruction inflicted by the remnants of Hurricane Ike last fall.

“I think it’s going to be worse, much worse,” Rogers said yesterday.

State Farm and Allstate are looking to put mobile-response vehicles in the Paducah area, and Allstate will have a vehicle in Louisville near the Home Depot on Westport Road.

Allstate spokeswoman Allison Hatcher said the largest areas of ice-storm damage in Kentucky have been Louisville, Lexington and Paducah.

The FEMA response was getting positive press; but, the link is on my computer and I’m not.  Be assured, fedresponse, that I’ll update this post with the story later in the day once I’m done with a series of meetings  – unless Sop does it first.

Speaking of Sop, I’ve got a question: Does State Farm set up a separate pay-to-play legal entity in every state?   I just noticed the reference to Kentucky State Farm and given the recent comments about Florida State Farm it appears the good neighbor has very short arms.

3 thoughts on “The ice claims cometh! Kentucky reports more damage from ice than Ike”

  1. Yes insurers generally set up subsidiaries state by state, sometimes they also encapsulate liability by the product line as well.

    If you want to see a working example of what happens when things go back hunt up that McClatchy DC article on General Re.

    Hurricanes are drama; Jim Cantore reporting in the raging wind and pounding surf. Not that my own experiences would minimize the dramtic display of raw power a Hurricane packs with it, but Ice Storms are also very destructive. The 1994 Mississippi Delta Ice storm caused massive amounts of damage for instance.


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