The harsh winter storms that hit Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon have caused more than $25 million in damage, the industrywide standard for a “catastrophic event.”
The Property Claim Services unit of New Jersey-based Verisk Analytics, which gathers and analyzes insurance claims data, told the Statesman on Thursday that winter conditions between Jan. 6 and 9 pushed insurance claims past the $25 million mark.
The total cost for collapsed buildings, wrecked cars, flooded homes and other winter damage? That’s unclear at this point. The company says its insurance loss estimations are proprietary and available only to subscribers.
And there will be plenty of replacement and repair costs that never result in insurance claims.
The Idaho Department of Insurance will get a closer look at how much this winter cost Idaho insurers during its annual audit.
Kam Moore, who lives in Payette, told the Statesman on Wednesday that she filed a claim with Safeco Insurance for a collapsed roof on her family’s welding room. When the roof crashed down under snow, she figured all the equipment beneath was ruined. She said it was worth about $10,000.
But when they dug out the snow, the learned that the tin roof had shielded the gear, and repairs would cost far less, so she canceled the claim.
Despite being a record-breaking winter, this is not Idaho’s first weather catastrophe. Verisk also designated a weather catastrophe in mid-November 2015, when winds and winter storms hit North Idaho.
Before that, Idaho was included in several catastrophe designations in the 1990s because of winter storms, wind and thunderstorms.
The company did not wrap into the latest designation any of the storms in December or other days in January.