Ouch! Mother Nature just reached into our wallets

If you are upset about the increase in your insurance premiums this year, blame Mother Nature.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2011, the U.S. saw a dozen or more weather events that did at least $1 billion each in damage.

During one three-day period last April, 343 tornadoes struck a path from Alabama to Virginia. The city of Joplin, Missouri was almost wiped off the map due to a massive tornado. In the Ohio Valley last year, rain and snow exceeded normal levels by 300 percent, leading to flooding along the Mississippi River. Wildfires fueled by drought conditions in Texas burned more than a million acres.

The Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based insurance industry trade association, reported that weather-related catastrophes in 2011 caused close to $35 billion in insured damages and more than $70 billion in total economic losses. Charities, state, federal and local governments paid for the other $35 billion in losses.

So as insurance companies revise and recalculate their risk models, most of us will be paying more for homeowners, business and automobile insurance coverage this year thanks to Mother Nature.

If you have questions regarding your property insurance coverage, please call E. R. Munro and Company at 877-376-8676 or visit our Web site at www.ermunro.com. Post your questions and comments on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ERMCO.