Thursday, June 12, 2008

AIA Pledges Industry Commitment to Midwest Recovery

Gov. Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association, today reassured the residents of the Midwest region that the insurance industry is committed to helping them recover from the powerful storms and the deadly tornadoes that have torn through parts of Iowa and Illinois in recent days.

“Even as the aftereffects of the powerful weather continue to threaten those living in the Midwest, its residents can be assured that the insurance industry is fully committed to helping its policyholders fully recover from these devastating storms,” said Racicot. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and we look forward to the bad weather subsiding and allowing the recovery process to begin.”

For the past week, numerous tornadoes and record rainfall in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin have caused untold damage to thousands of residents. Federal, state and local agencies are working hard to help residents; and insurers and emergency crews are on the scene helping those in need, while at the same time assessing the damage from the storms.

It is still too early to estimate the total damage caused by the tornadoes. U.S. catastrophe losses from tornadoes alone totaled almost $1 billion ($955 million) in the first quarter, according to the Insurance Services Office.

Five states have already issued emergency declarations to some degree, for example, Indiana Gov. Daniels has declared 41 counties disaster areas while Wisconsin Gov. Doyle has declared a state of emergency for 29 counties. Many locations are now receiving assistance from the federal government.

AIA commended the efforts of Govs. Blagojevich (IL), Daniels (IN), Culver (IA), Heineman (NE), Pawlenty (MN) and Doyle (WI), as well as insurance commissioners and emergency management agencies in the affected states.

"The leadership and courage displayed by these public officials in the face of adversity is an indication of the true sprit of the people in America’s heartland,” noted Racicot.

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