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Tornadoes create opportunity?

Tragically, yes, this article from the Arkansas Business Journal points out.

“The numbers are starting to add up quickly,” said Bill Hannah, CEO of Conway’s Nabholz Construction Corp. “It wouldn’t surprise me if it hit $1 billion.”

That insurance money will be spent, and a lot of it, as the Financial Times notes here:

The stock prices of global reinsurance groups, which provide catastrophe cover to local Japanese insurers, regained some ground at the end of last week, as expectations for industry losses calmed and appeared to settle around an average forecast of $20bn or lower.

While very large, this is still less than the $22.5bn claims insurers took after 9/11 in 2001 and far below the more than $70bn in total claims that resulted from hurricane Katrina in 2005.

One other thing I learned when a 1970s era apartment building of mine had a unit catch on fire last year – insurance often doesn’t pay for code upgrades. So the electrical system that was installed, and working fine and up to code at the time of building, had to be significantly, and expensively, upgraded to meet current code. As I understand it, the part of Joplin hit hardest was an older area, so that’s going to bite a few people I bet.

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