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Over $3B Paid Out for Derecho Claims, Iowa Regulators Urge Extensions to Deadlines

 Wednesday, August 11, 2021

 The Gazette

Last summer’s destructive derecho has been labeled the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history, and the staggering price to repair and reconstruct damaged communities in the path of the rare inland hurricane is bearing that out.

Insurance companies have paid more than $3.125 billion to settle 223,410 damage claims from policyholders in Iowa, according to the state’s Insurance Division, and that number is expected to grow as state regulators urge insurance carriers to grant extensions to affected homeowners and businesses as the anniversary of the Aug. 10, 2020, event approaches.

Those property and casualty issues for Iowans are a subset of the derecho’s larger 770-mile path of destruction from South Dakota to Indiana over 14 hours that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates caused $11.5 billion in overall damage to communities, farms and crops — with 1 million acres of corn and 600,000 acres of soybeans in Iowa ripped from production.

‘It was a very significant weather day in Iowa history,’ said Iowa’s state climatologist Justin Glisan.