On Tuesday, September 24th, Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin told the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission that the insurance industry is estimating around 300,000 claims, including those for commercial property, as a result of Hurricane Ike, which hit the Texas Coast on September 13th.
Geeslin added that up to half of those claims will go to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), but that it was still too early to tell how much the total dollar amount of Ike-related claims will be, especially since insurance adjustors are only just able to reach the heavily damaged coastal areas. The Commissioner said that even though there have been published estimates ranging from $6 – $18 billion, it will take one to three months before the true impact of the storm will be known.
According to Geeslin, as of September 24th, TWIA, which is a state-chartered “insurer of last resort,” had already fielded almost 50,000 Hurricane Ike claims, and was estimating that the number would have reached 50,000 by the next morning. “These are coming in by the thousands on a half-day basis,” Geeslin said.
Geeslin also said that TWIA estimates claims will total between $3 and $4 billion, but called those numbers “fluid.” He added, that it was, “�sobering to realize how much the state is on the hook,” and explained that, “TWIA has currently put up reserves for incurred losses of over a billion [dollars].”