TEXT OF STORY
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.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.