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Cost of Joplin tornado $500 million and rising

Posted On Thu, July 7, 2011

More than one month after a devastating EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, the state's insurance department said insurers have paid out more than $500 million in insurance claims.

According to the department, the highest numbers of claims received are home insurance related, accounting for more than 7,000 of the 14,910 received thus far. But as John Huff, director of the state's insurance department, said, more claims are expected.

"This will be the largest insurance event in Missouri history, and these numbers confirm that the insurance industry is playing a vital role in Joplin's recovery," said Huff. "This is half a billion dollars already reinvested in the the local economy, and we expect it to be three to four times that amount by the time all claims are settled."

All told, insurers have spent approximately $509 million in claims, according to the DIFP, which expects to receive 2,000 more claims when all is said and done.

Statistics gathered by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration indicate a 1966 tornado that touched down in Topeka, Kansas, is the costliest twister on record, totaling $2.1 billion.

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