HAPPY CATASTROVERSARY: Katrina’s 10 Year Review

Katrina Before Vs After image

HAPPY CATASTROVERSARY: Katrina’s 10 Year Review

It’s been 10 years.
10 years since “a little rain” hurt EVERYONE, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and violently tore apart most of the Gulf Coast like a spoiled child on Christmas morning, whose handiwork was the most catastrophic and most expensive in U.S. history.

“More than $25 billion in insured losses resulting from more than 725,000 claims in Louisiana. Following Hurricane Rita, insurers paid out $3.4 billion in losses resulting from more than 200,000 claims. These are staggering payouts that would scare off insurers with even the deepest of pockets as is evidenced by the retreat of many of the larger companies from areas all along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts following the storms,” asserts Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.

10 years later, the market for property insurance in Louisiana is healthier than it ever was before the storm, with stable rates, more competition and better options for home and business owners.
Instead of losing insurers, Louisiana actually GAINED 22 property insurers that didn’t write policies here before the storm. Simply put, we’re in a great place and the future has never looked brighter, from an insurance standpoint.

One of the many lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina is the importance of understanding what your insurance policy says and how it will respond to a claim. Insurers have since made it a top priority to focus on the wording of their policies, making them clear, concise and comprehensively accessible to holders of all shapes & sizes.

Katrina has also led to a sharp rise in the focus on data quality that has since become a driver of risk modeling. Initial loss estimates from Katrina missed the mark by a longshot, in part, because the data loaded into the models was inadequate, incomplete, inaccurate, or miscoded.

The list of post-Katrina improvements in the insurance industry goes on and on. We encourage you to give an AWS representative a call TODAY so we can fill you in on just how much the dust has settled, and help you reach the pay-out at the end of the rainbow.


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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.

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