Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Hundreds of insurance claims filed

State Farm alone to pay over $25M

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Rebuilding and repairing the homes and businesses hit by Friday's tornado could make the storm one of the costliest for insurance companies.

        “If you're looking at it from a claims standpoint, we've had a lot more claims in other catastrophes around the country,” said Brian Maze, a spokesman for State Farm. “But in ratio to the payout, this is one of the worst disasters we've seen in quite a while.“

        State Farm, the nation's largest homeowners' insurer, said it expects to pay out more than $25 million to Cincinnati policyholders.

        Mr. Maze said the company has received 450 claims for damage to homes, cars and businesses. He expects that number to top 2,000 by the time all of State Farm's tornado-related claims are settled.

        “We've seen most of the homes that were damaged,” he said. “But in some areas, it's still tough to get in. So we're counting claims on a call-by-call basis.”

        Cindy Denney, a spokeswoman for Hamilton-based Ohio Casualty — one of Cincinnati's largest insurers — said the telephones at the company's regional claims office in Fairfield have been ringing steadily since Friday.

        Ms. Denney declined to release the number of claims filed or to offer damage estimates. But she said Ohio Casualty has about 1,000 policyholders in the areas hit hardest by the storm and already has begun to settle some claims.

        One of those claims was filed by Matt Barouh, the local franchise operator for the Alabama-based Just For Feet athletic shoe store.

        The Just For Feet shoe store and warehouse at Harper's Point in Symmes Township had extensive damage in the storm, he said.

        “The entire roof and a wall of the warehouse were ripped off,” he said. “The damage was well in excess of $1 million.”

        Allstate received more than 200 property claims by midmorning Monday, said Yvette McClaine, an Allstate spokeswoman.

        Chicago-based CNA reported 75 claims for damage to cars and homes. That number is expected to reach 300 by week's end, said Carol Scherf, a CNA spokeswoman


Treasures recovered in debris
Tristate tallies financial losses
Tornado renews debate about communications system
Some see '99 as a peak year for tornadoes
Weather radios not easy to find
- Hundreds of insurance claims filed
Businesses not reopening as swiftly as hoped
Long shopping list for family that lost house, clothes
Road & school closings; curfews
Two victims remembered; 2 buried today
Forest teaches lessons anew
Government tries to get back to normal
Synagogue lends hand to church
Mail delivery interrupted
Sycamore moves some games to opponents' fields
Tax deadline extended for victims
Warren County sets up hot line