Auto Insurance and Hurricane Katrina: Replacing What Was Lost

As relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina begin to clean up the devastated Gulf Coast region, estimates are beginning to trickle in regarding the numbers of lost vehicles in the Louisiana and Mississippi. The National Automobile Association is estimating that up to 10 percent of the registered vehicles in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi were lost to the hurricane and flooding. The losses are estimated to be around 466,000 vehicles -- or over $1 billion in damages.

(PRWEB via PR Web Direct) September 14, 2005 -- As relief efforts from Hurricane Katrina begin to clean up the devastated Gulf Coast region, estimates are beginning to trickle in regarding the numbers of lost vehicles in the Louisiana and Mississippi. The National Automobile Association is estimating that up to 10 percent of the registered vehicles in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi were lost to the hurricane and flooding. The losses are estimated to be around 466,000 vehicles -- or over $1 billion in damages.

Many people in the affected areas are concerned that the insurance industry may not have the financial resources to pay the claims from Hurricane Katrina damage. However, the Insurance Information Institute reports that "the insurance industry has the financial strength and human resources to pay the claims from Hurricane Katrina …all covered losses will be paid fairly and quickly."

The debate is still out as to whether or not insurance rates will rise. Donald Light, senior analyst for Celent, told USA Today that auto insurance rates could increase between 5 and 10 percent. However, other experts like Robert P. Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute told the Washington Post that the increases will most likely be limited to high-risk areas.

Thousands of insurance adjusters are making the move to the affected areas to begin assessing the damage. The process is moving along as best as possible, even though the adjusters only have access to certain areas and face hurdles like lack of power, phones, housing, and fuel. However, they are continuing to move forward, and are poised to enter more affected communities as soon as the areas are cleared for entry by the authorities.

Meanwhile, those affected by Hurricane Katrina are now facing another hazard -- the fraudulent sale of vehicles damaged by the floods and winds. Robert M. Bryant, CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, states that there are a number of "unscrupulous" salvage operators that will try to sell vehicles damaged by Katrina to unsuspecting buyers. Therefore, there are a number of authorities in Louisiana and Mississippi trying to catalog vehicles so that they will not be fraudulently sold to unknowing consumers in the future.

At the same time, thousands of people are beginning the claims process for their automobiles and homes that were damaged by hurricane Katrina. And many experts are using this catastrophe to teach people about auto insurance and filing claims. Insurance Savings, a free online insurance quote and information website, boasts a number of articles about auto insurance, disaster preparedness, and how to file a claim to help consumers and victims of Katrina, disasters, and other accidents.

Insurance Savings has a number of helpful articles and resources available for people to learn how to file claims and avoid fraud after a disaster. Visit Insurance Savings at http://www.insurance-compare-save.com/ to find out more about insurance and even where to donate for disaster relief. Up to date hurricane information regarding insurance can also be found on the Insurance Blog at http://www.blog.insurance-compare-save.com/.

Contact:
Joshua Miller
305-505-4308

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/9/prweb285114.htm