The top 10 writers of homeowners insurance in Texas paid out claims exceeding $271 million related to last year's Bastrop wildfires, the Texas Department of Insurance reports.
Almost $258 million of that was paid to 4,729 residential property claims. The total also includes claims for commercial property and personal and commercial automobiles.
Insurance department spokesman Jerry Hagins said the numbers are “stable” at this point but that the total does not account for individuals who hold policies with smaller companies or any claims that may come up later.
The total is far lower than total claims for some other Texas disasters. Dallas’ April hailstorms resulted in $2 billion in payouts by insurance companies. Hagins said the department hadn’t analyzed the data thoroughly enough to be able to compare it to other catastrophes.
The wildfire was the costliest in Texas history.
“This is really just a data report, so people have some context for the overall number of claims and amounts,” he said.
The fire broke out Sept. 4, 2011, destroying more than 1,600 homes and temporarily displacing thousands of families and businesses.
For all wildfires across the state last year, the department handled 79 complaints from consumers, 26 of which resulted in additional awards totaling $1.7 million. The department serves as a mediator when policyholders feel their insurance company has not properly delivered on the policy.
State Farm Group leads the list of top 10 homeowners insurance writers in Texas, followed by Allstate Insurance Group.