State Farm Pays $5 Billion to Cover Weather Damages

State Farm Insurance said on Sunday that it has paid $5 billion to its customers for weather-related catastrophes so far this year. In the wake of a number of natural disasters–including numerous tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes–damage to cars, homes and other properties has resulted in major payouts from the company.

State Farm Receives Nearly 1 Million Claims

In its announcement, State Farm revealed it had received over 970,000 claims as of Sept. 23. While it did not give a comparable figure for the year prior, experts said up until July 2011 had already been the costliest year for natural disasters, so the likelihood that claims increased this year is high.

The claims State Farm has received to date include damage caused wildfires in western Texas, tornado damage throughout the Midwest and storm damage on the East Coast.

The company says claims for these disasters are in addition to the 11 million to 12 million in auto insurance claims, as well as business and home insurance claims the company receives in a typical year.

Allstate Paid $2.5 Billion After Storms

Earlier this month, Allstate Corp. announced it had paid about half of what State Farm has paid so far this year for storms and disasters.

The company says it lost $2 billion from severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the months of April and May alone. It lost an additional $500 million from damage caused by Hurricane Irene along the East Coast.

Estimates in July revealed that the first months of 2011 saw $265 billion in economic losses around the world, which is well above the $220 billion figure set for all of 2005–the year Hurricane Katrina struck–according to Munich Re, a multinational that insures insurance companies.

With three months left in the year and hurricane season in full swing, it’s good to make sure that you have the insurance coverage you need, as well as an emergency preparedness plan in place, to keep your family safe and financially ready for a disaster.