The insured loss from the Dec. 9-12 tornado outbreak that devastated parts of central U.S. has been estimated to be about $3 billion.
Catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Company said its estimate includes damage from the tornadoes and winds and hail. This KCC estimate includes the privately insured damage to residential, commercial and industrial property and automobiles.
The late-season tornado outbreak affected at least six states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. KCC notes that there have been 60 reports of tornadoes and over 350 reports of damaging wind gusts.
The death toll from the tornadoes has reached 88, with many people still missing.
“The most significant damage has been observed in Kentucky, particularly in Warren and Graves counties, where hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed,” the KCC report says. “The tornado outbreak caused significant damage across the impacted states. There have been thousands of reports of damage and hundreds of reports of destroyed homes and businesses including factories and warehouses. Widespread effects across the impacted states range from torn off roofs and downed trees to demolished buildings.”
According to KCC, the Kentucky businesses damaged include a TMS Automotive plant in Bowling Green, a candle factory and the downtown sector in Mayfield, a country club in Princeton, and numerous buildings in Barnsley. Dozens of homes were destroyed in Dawson Springs and in Princeton.
KCC said significant damage has also been reported in Arkansas, Illinois and Tennessee, including a large warehouse in Trumann, Ark. Dozens of destroyed buildings were also reported in downtown Dresden and Newbern, Tenn.
The KCC estimate would make this outbreak among the costliest disasters involving tornadoes for insurers, according to data from insurance broker Aon. Previously, the costliest U.S. catastrophe involving tornadoes, based on insured losses, occurred in April 22-28 in 2011. A tornado outbreak that hit Tuscaloosa, Ala., and other areas caused $8.5 billion in insured damages based on 2020 dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute. An Aug. 8-12, 2020, Midwest derecho caused an estimated $8.2 billion in insured damage.