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A roof blown off by winds from Hurricane Gustav fell on top of a car - 


Renita Jablonski: Insurance companies are also breathing a sigh of relief today.
After Hurricane Katrina, insurers reported losses topping $40 billion. Early estimates after Gustav put losses between $6 billion and $10 billion. And as Marketplace's Dan Grech reports, private insurers are far less exposed than three years ago.

Dan Grech: After Hurricane Katrina, many private insurance companies jacked up premiums along the Gulf Coast. Robert Hartwig is with the Insurance Information Institute.

Robert Hartwig: The cost of homeowners insurance in coastal areas that are exposed to hurricanes today is higher than what it was pre-Katrina because the risk is recognized to be greater.

Allison Plyer is with the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. She says many homeowners have faced a doubling in their premiums.

Allison Plyer: Homeowners insurance became incredibly expensive after Katrina and a number of people did choose not to get it.

That means once the winds die down, it could leave some unlucky homeowners holding the bag. Gustav will also test state-run insurance programs. After Katrina, many private insurance companies stopped writing policies along the Gulf Coast.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.