State Farm pays out $5bn in storm claims

STATE Farm Insurance has paid $5bn (£3.23bn) to its customers for weather-related catastrophes – damage to cars, homes and other property so far this year – the largest US insurer of homes and cars said yesterday.

That payout has been increased by wildfires, tropical storms and hurricanes during the summer, which came after last spring’s spate of tornadoes and hail storms.

The company did not provide a comparable figure for the year-ago period.

Through to 23 September, State Farm has receive more than 970,000 catastrophe claims, stretching from wildfires in western Texas to storm damage in Maine.

The company’s catastrophe claims work is in addition to the 11m to 12m other auto, home and business claims reported to the company in a typical year.

Earlier this month, Allstate Corp said it had lost $500m on Hurricane Irene, much less than the $2bn it lost from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes during April and May.

The States has been battered by hurricanes and tropical storms in recent weeks, though Hurricane Irene caused less damage to the east coast than first feared.