The tornadoes that swept several states may cost insurance companies up to $5 billion.
Over the weekend, at least 30 tornadoes were reported throughout Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The largest tornado that struck the region tore through over 200 miles of Kentucky. As of Tuesday, 74 people have been confirmed dead and more than 100 remain unaccounted for.
As residents begin to rebuild their lives, insurance companies anticipate hefty payouts. Reuters reported:
Catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Company said it expects insured losses of about $3 billion from tornadoes that tore a 200-mile path through the six states in the U.S. Midwest and South, demolishing homes, leveling businesses and setting off a scramble to find survivors beneath the rubble…
Credit rating agency Fitch said insured losses could rise to $5 billion, rivaling the U.S. Midwest derecho event in August last year, but less than Winter Storm Uri and Hurricane Ida, both of which saw losses of $15 billion and $40 billion respectively.
Reuters added that insurers — invoking the argument that severe weather events are linked to climate change — will likely begin pushing for higher prices next year:
This will add to reinsurers’ push for rate hikes at the January 2022 pricing renewals and beyond as they absorb losses from another unusual weather event and react to concerns about the negative impact from climate change, Fitch said.
In the wake of the storms, The Daily Wire conducted several exclusive interviews with residents.
One man from Mayfield, Kentucky, shared his horrific experience — which involved him possibly saving his neighbor’s life by waking him up as the twister was only blocks away. The man explained that he was first alerted by a nearby tornado siren and that he immediately “started getting mattresses out.” He moved them toward a centrally-located closet where he could wait out the storm because he figured it was “better safe than sorry.”
“And then, I went out on the front porch because I’ve personally never seen a tornado, and next thing you know it got real calm,” he told The Daily Wire. “Then I heard something like a freight train.”
“Then all the power went out,” he continued, adding that “the tornado looked blue from the electricity” and “it was probably about two streets” away. However, he realized that his neighbor was not awake as the tornado was about to strike his house: “So you know, I bust his door down, tell him to ‘Get up! Tornado’s coming!’ He jumps in the shower, and we run over here. We get up in the closet and pull mattresses over us. The whole house starts shaking, you hear things breaking.”
“I was just praying the whole time,” he said. “It happened so fast and then it was calm. Everybody got out, made sure everybody was okay, and the first thing you know that we thought of was getting out and helping people.”
In another interview with The Daily Wire, one woman said: “I’ve lived in the area since 1973. And I had a friend here last night that — I knew the tornado was touching down — and she lived in a mobile home and I begged her to get out of the mobile home — and she got into a building here that was owned by her boss and the building collapsed, but she is okay.”
“Thank God for that,” she continued, “and I’ve never in my life seen destruction like this — never.”